We’ve got the power

on February 4, 2010 in Hardware

Arround 30,000 tonnes of batteries are bought in the UK every year, but considering that they contain some of the most environmentally damaging chemicals, only 3% are recycled (the rest goes into landfill!)

New rules mean that soon every retailer that sells more than a pack of batteries a day will have to have a recyling point in store, but manufacturers are pessimistic that the target of 25% recycling by 2012 will be reached.

Undoubtably, point of sale and the visibility of the recycling bins will help, but the size of batteries means that they don’t always make it to the bin (how many of us have batteries lying in a draw that we’re not sure work) never mind getting collected together and taken back to the shop.

With alcaline batteries useing 50 times more power to produce than they ever give out, the better option is to switch to rechargeable, but the problem that I’ve always found is that they discharge over time even if you don’t use them, so by the time you need them you face the wait of a few hours before they’re of any use.

A new product by Duracell gets round this, charged in a normal NiMh charger (and costing around the same price as ordinary rechargeable batteries), Duracell ActiveCharge are capable of holding 80% of it’s charge for a year, meaning that those batteries are ready for use whenever you need them.

I’ve been using these since Christmas, and having a couple of sets for my camera means that it’s ready the moment I need it and I don’t have to plan my trips in advance. When the ones in the camera run out through use, I can be sure that the replacements are ready and it also saves recharging half used batteries just to make sure they’ll last.


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