Ikea has announced that non-rechargeable alkaline batteries will be removed from global stores by October 2021, as part of a commitment towards sustainable living and waste reduction.
The Alkalisk batteries—yes, the yellow and chrome-coloured ones—have been a staple of Ikea’s stores for many years now, but the Swedish company wants consumers to make a switch to rechargeable batteries in the future.
This is because single-use alkaline batteries have a significantly worse impact on the environment, particularly when you compare that to rechargeable nickel-metal hydride batteries (NiMH). Ikea sells this type of rechargeable batteries under the Ladda range, which have lower greenhouse gas emissions, with the same amount of energy.
NiMH batteries also have an environmental impact, of course. However, after 50 charges, you’re looking at an equal (or less) environmental impact compared to alkaline batteries. After 10 charges for a rechargeable NiMH battery, greenhouse emissions are still lower than alkaline batteries.
Meanwhile, the Swedish company’s Ladda batteries can be charged up to 500 times. It’s worth noting that rechargeable batteries generally cost more, with Ikea’s own Ladda batteries priced at RM39.90 for four batteries, while the Alkalisk batteries are priced at RM6.90 for 10.
However, Lars Svensson, Sustainability Director for Ikea Southeast Asia & Mexico, explains that consumers will still save—on money, and the environment:
“There are substantial savings to be made over time –on the environment as well as our wallets –when we adopt new behaviours and use rechargeable batteries to their full potential. And this also helps reduce waste.”
300 million alkaline batteries were sold by Ikea all over the world last year, and if all existing Ikea customers switched to rechargeable Ladda batteries (and charged them 50 times), global waste could be reduced by 5,000 tonnes per year. For now, Alkalisk batteries will continue to be sold in stores—-although the iconic yellow-and-silver batteries won’t be around for much longer.