Rechargeable battery specialist Uniross Batteries has formed a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

“WWF partners with environmentally-responsible businesses in an effort to encourage and promote responsible and sustainable activities,” Michael Rogers, MD of Uniross, says. “WWF is thorough in its selection process, scrutinising potential partners in accordance with selective criteria prior to partnering with any business.

“Based on international research, Uniross specialises in the production of eco-friendly rechargeable batteries, which are proven to be 32 times better for the environment than ordinary single-use batteries,” he said. “This fact certainly played an important role in WWF’s decision to partner with us.”

In addition to their eco-friendly products, Uniross launched the first South African battery recycling programme, back in 2008. In conjunction with Pick n Pay, Uniross rolled out a battery recycling programme enabling consumers to return their old batteries for recycling at any of the Pick n Pay stores countrywide. This programme is still active in all Pick n Pay stores today.

In 2008, Uniross was also the first South African battery company to voluntarily cease manufacturing with Cadmium, an extremely harmful chemical. “WWF and Uniross have entered into this partnership in an effort to educate South Africans about the environmental benefits of using rechargeable batteries. The goal is to educate and encourage consumers to start using rechargeable batteries instead of ‘single-use’ batteries.” Rogers says.

“The agreement will see a percentage of Uniross sales going toward WWF South Africa to further support its environmental initiatives and conservation work.” In reciprocation of this support, the agreement entitles Uniross to co-brand its products and marketing materials with the internationally recognisable WWF trademark.

“We also hope that this partnership will allow Uniross to team up with other WWF partners to create a network of responsible producers and retailers such as Pick n Pay and Woolworths,” Rogers says.

It is estimated that South Africa disposes of about 50 million environmentally-harmful single-use batteries each year. “These batteries ultimately end up in our rubbish dumps where they eventually break down, leaking chemicals into soil and ground water. Because rechargeable batteries are capable of being recharged and re-used up to 500 times, South Africans could reduce this enormous battery pollution from 50 million to a fraction of this number each year – an enormous benefit to our environment.”

Here are some facts:

  • One ‘single-use AAA battery can pollute 500 litres of water and a cubic metre of land for 50 years.
  • South Africa throws away 50 million batteries per year.
  • One rechargeable battery will replace up to 500 single-use batteries.
  • Research shows that rechargeable batteries have up to 32 times less impact on the environment than disposable batteries; 28 times less potential on global warming; 30 times less potential impact on air pollution; nine times less potential on air acidification and 12 times less potential impact on water pollution.
  • Replacing single-use batteries with rechargeable batteries will eliminate nearly 50 million old batteries from entering our rubbish dumps annually.

COST SAVING ON RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES

One single-use AA battery costs about R12.  Therefore 500 will cost approximately – R6,000

Four AA rechargeable batteries and a charger will costapproximately – R200

Rechargeable batteries can be recharged and reused up to 500 times. Therefore, the Approximate savings to the consumer on the purchase of one charger and a pack of four rechargeable batteries – R5,800