Pedal power beats engines in world-first for battery recycling

The world’s first zero-carbon battery collection service has powered into the capital in time for Christmas.

Valpak’s new scheme expects to collect around five tonnes of used batteries in six months.


It adds to the company’s existing batteries service which collects millions of batteries from over 30,000 UK businesses, including household names such as Sainsburys, Co-op and M&S.

James Nash, Commercial Manager at Valpak said: “The expansion of the zero-carbon scheme to London has already proved a great success, with a staggering 217 businesses across the capital signing up. This is a triple-win for businesses – ensuring that batteries are recycled correctly, helping businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and, importantly, making sure that enough batteries are recycled each year to allow retailers to meet their compliance obligations.”

The launch follows on from the launch of the scheme in Cambridge, which has generated half a tonne of batteries since June.

Valpak supplies battery boxes to store household portable batteries such as AA and AAAs. Once the boxes are full, Zedify couriers collect the boxes free of charge while delivering packages across the city. While collection vehicles typically tot up 298kg of CO2 for ever mile, Zedify’s bikes emit zero C02, no matter how many journeys they take. They also help to avoid congestion and delays caused by waiting in traffic queues.

Nash said: “The aim is to include battery removal as an additional service for existing delivery customers. As well as slashing emissions, the scheme helps to attract new sources of waste batteries, which drives greater volumes for recycling.”

In the UK, around 40,000 tonnes of portable batteries were sold in 2018, with only around 18,000 tonnes being recycled.