IKEA has announced that it will completely stop selling non-rechargeable alkaline batteries starting next year. If you’re a photographer who uses the batteries to power camera gear, you’re encouraged to switch over to IKEA’s rechargeable line.
“Following IKEA’s commitment to inspire and enable people to live a healthier and more sustainable life at home, all non-rechargeable alkaline batteries will be removed from the global home furnishing range by October 2021,” IKEA says. “With this decision, IKEA wishes to inspire consumers who need to frequently use batteries to make a switch to rechargeable batteries. Regular use over time enables consumers to both save money and reduce waste at home.”
IKEA cites several studies that show that non-rechargeable alkaline batteries have a higher environmental impact than rechargeable nickel-metal hydride batteries (NiMH) batteries when used in devices like cameras that have high energy consumption.
Greenhouse gas emissions become lower for rechargeable than non-rechargeable after 10 charges, and the overall environmental impact becomes equal or lower after 50 charges.
Tests have shown in recent years that IKEA’s LADDA rechargeable batteries are virtually identical in performance with Panasonic’s Eneloop Pro batteries despite costing a fraction of the price. They have also been found to beat Eneloop Pro batteries in camera flash recycle time.
IKEA sold roughly 300 million ALKALISK alkaline batteries last year and estimates that discontinuing them could lead to a reduction of 5,000 tons of global waste if all customers switched to rechargeable batteries and used them at least 50 cycles (which is just 10% of the 500 charge/discharge cycles each LADDA battery is rated for).