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The Duracell Big Battery Hunt results are in!...


Over half a million children signed up to rid homes of 280 tonnes of used batteries

May 21, 2018, Duracell, the UK’s Number 1 Alkaline Battery, announce initial results from The Big Battery Hunt, harnessing the pester power of children as agents of change –  a positive movement in changing a community’s recycling behaviours that encourages children to hunt for hoards of used batteries and to bring them to school to be recycled. The nationwide initiative is galvanising over half a million pupils to recycle over 2.3 million batteries …and counting!


Changing the behaviour of battery hoarding Brits

Open up any kitchen cupboard or drawer and chances are that you’ll find innumerable discarded batteries. In fact, recent figures show that Britons hoard up to 433 million used batteries [1] which if lined up would reach from Land’s End to John o’ Groats more than 15 times[2]. To address this, the average Briton simply needs to recycle three batteries each. But even more significantly, when we’re not hoarding used batteries, it seems we’re throwing them away in a rubbish bin. This results in over 20,000 tonnes of batteries ending up in landfill sites in the UK each year, presenting a major environmental challenge for the future. 

Despite being a nation acutely aware of the impact of waste plastic and used coffee cups on the planet, when it comes to recycling, we seem to forget the batteries. Enter Duracell, who last year launched the Big Battery Hunt, an ambitious recycling experiment that aimed to understand how to power long term behaviour change. The pilot scheme enrolled a target of 40 schools only and inspired children and their families to recycle 107,000 used batteries thus unlocking an exciting new way to stop batteries ending up in landfill.

Taking the Duracell Big Battery Hunt nationwide

This year 554,255 pupils from 2,379 schools countrywide are registered to take part and with the support of We Are Futures, Duracell has developed free educational materials to help teachers facilitate lessons, shape assemblies and homework for the pupils around the issue of and science behind recycling. Duracell created a battery collection box that children can personalise to encourage the positive impact of recycling batteries and has provided schools with 5L and 30L recycling bins in which schools can deposit the hoards of used batteries

The first results are in!

Thanks to the recycling enthusiasm of Britain’s school children the initiative has collected more than

2.3 million used batteries, that’s an average of four batteries per pupil registered – and is on track to collect 278 tonnes of used batteries. That’s the same weight as 56 elephants![3]

Standout recycling pioneers include

  • Class Teacher Hannah Wilcox at Rockwood School where pupils collected 22,000 used batteries says; “I am absolutely thrilled to say that we are a very small school with only 255 pupils but we have managed to collect a grand total of 22,060 batteries so far this term, this is a brilliant initiative and I am thrilled to be a part of it.”
  • The Portsmouth Grammar School (pictured) where pupils have collected 14,000 used batteries and counting!
  • Leanne Cope a parent whose son is taking part has shared; “I thoroughly enjoyed watching his confidence grow; talking about making the world cleaner and protecting the wildlife. I’m so grateful as a parent that there are opportunities for our children to grow and be so passionate about something close to their heart!”
  • A pupil in West Lothian who has handed in 8,253 used batteries dropping them off at school with help from Mum, Dad and the janitors trolley

Christina Turner, Associate Marketing Director at Duracell UK comments, “The Duracell Big Battery Hunt continues to be an exciting way to lead the industry towards long-term change. Our 2017 pilot scheme helped us unlock an exciting and innovative way to make recycling batteries more convenient and habitual – which are currently key barriers to reducing battery waste – and we’ve been delighted to now take the Big Battery Hunt nationwide, reaching over half a million pupils. The initial results have once again surpassed our expectations and proved how the enthusiasm among the youngest members of our community can have a positive long term impact on the environment.

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As well as encouraging the nation to recycle old batteries, Duracell is dedicated to minimising waste in the first place by increasing battery life and ensuring consumers get the most from the product, which is where the Duracell PowerCheck feature comes in. On average, about one in three batteries gets thrown away with power still inside so PowerCheck ensures you use battery to the full. Alongside recycling used batteries, investing in a quality battery will minimise waste.” continued Turner.

David Reynolds, Group Technical Director at WasteCare, who own BatteryBack, the UK’s largest Battery Compliance Scheme and battery recycling experts, further comments “The average Brit now uses about 10 batteries a year, and as a country we use 189 million batteries at Christmas alone so it’s not hard to imagine the numbers of used batteries either left redundant in kitchen drawers or even worse, in landfill sites. Given current recycling rates, it is clear we need to urgently and collectively change our nation’s attitude to recycling and we are delighted to partner with Duracell for a second year to learn how to do this successfully in order to make a positive, permanent change. The results highlight battery recycling behaviour in homes across the country and feedback from the schools and the enthusiasm from the children taking part has been hugely inspiring”.

The Big Battery Hunt continues..!

The Duracell Big Battery Hunt isn’t just for Easter, schools can register to recycle used batteries throughout the year at