There was a day when the disposable alkaline battery was the only game in town. You used it to power your flashlight and transistor radio. Then came NiCad and NiMH batteries. Both began eating into the market share alkaline batteries had long enjoyed, but never gained traction due to some technological limitations. But now, with affordable li-ion batteries available universally, it is over for the alkaline disposable. Their time is limited.
You might argue that alkaline disposables are alive and well. You might even cite the fact that billions are still produced every year and that quantity is still growing. Your arguments would be valid, unless we consider a slightly longer time horizon. Just because we can continue using disposable alkaline batteries doesn't mean we have to, right? It also does not mean there are any legitimate reasons for doing so. Let's face it, we can still get around by horse and buggy if we choose to. Most of us don't.
Here are five reasons to support our assertion that the days of alkaline batteries are over:
1. Li-Ions Recharge 1000+ Times
At the top of the list is the fact that you can recharge lithium-ion batteries 1000+ times. We can confidently say that about Pale Blue Earth batteries. How many times can you safely recharge an alkaline battery? Zero. That means for every USB rechargeable battery you purchase from Pale Blue you would have to purchase 1,000 alkaline batteries to get the same amount of use. That’s 1,000 times the waste and 1,000 times the impact on planet Earth.
2. Li-Ion Offers Greater Energy Density
Lithium-ion technology has so many advantages over alkaline that it is sometimes hard to quantify. For example, a lithium-ion battery offers greater energy density. What does that mean? It means li-ion batteries store more potential energy than alkaline in cases of the same size. Our 9V batteries store more energy than 9V alkalines. That means more use per charge. The same goes for all our form factors.
3. Lithium-Ion Is Worth Recycling
We encourage our customers to recycle their USB rechargeable batteries at end of life. Your typical lithium-ion battery contains a number of materials that are recoverable and have established markets. So even after it’s used 1,000 times, it still have a net value in recycling. What do you do with alkaline batteries? Most of the time, people just throw them away. There are no valuable or reusable materials in an Alkaline battery, so recycling it doesn’t even make sense. That means hundreds of millions of batteries are discarded in landfills every year. The best way to avoid this waste is by not buying single use disposable batteries in the first place.
4. Li-Ion Requires Fewer Trips to the Store
If convenience is important, the differences between li-ion and alkaline batteries are like night and day. For instance, let us go back to the fact that USB rechargeable batteries can be recharged 1000+ times. How many annual trips would you make to the store to replace li-ion cells? On the other hand, throwing away spent alkaline batteries means going back to the store for another package. How many times a year do you do this? Ordering them online doesn’t help either, that just adds to the carbon footprint required to deliver them. Just recharge and reuse with your Pale Blue batteries.
5. Li-Ions Are Cheaper in the Long Run
Finally, let's follow the money. The fact that you can recharge lithium-ion batteries 1000+ times ultimately means you spend less money in the long run. How much less? That depends on your a few details of how you use them, but since Lithium-ion batteries would pay for themselves after just a few charging cycles, you’ll be in the black on your investment quickly and then saving money with every charge. The old adage about a penny saved is a penny earned is worth keeping in mind next time you consider buying single use anything.
Disposable alkaline batteries were fantastic technology in their day. But like all technologies, they have been surpassed by new and better technologies. It is time for us to sunset alkaline batteries once and for all, and stop the waste. Though saying goodbye is always difficult, it's necessary to move forward. The days of alkaline batteries have passed. Let us let them fade quietly, and save the landfills.