Portfolio Center: Elle Oser, Sarai Wingate, Rachel Phillips, Max Mager
Environmental damage from batteries is a growing problem around the world. According to a 2013 study, more than 300,000 metric tons of batteries are being landfilled each year1. When single-use batteries are improperly disposed of in landfills, heavy metals and harmful acids leach into the soil and can affect food and water supply in the nearby areas2. With over three billion batteries sold a year in the U.S. alone, it is still surprisingly difficult to recycle batteries used at home3. Duracell recommends that you continue to throw away your alkaline batteries instead of recycling them4. Even as batteries are recycled, the process is usually not cost-effective5. Revo was born out of the idea that there was a better way to help the consumer recycle batteries both effectively, easily and in an environmentally responsible way. In order to make the entire battery recycle process easier for the consumer and more cost-effective for the supplier, all Revo’s packaging includes prepaid postage addressed to RBS metals in Brighton, Michigan. RBS is the only battery recycling plant in the country that is profitable, using a patented process that salvages up to 960 pounds of battery material per 1000 pounds6. We also sell Lithium Ion batteries because they last up to 4x longer than alkaline and can be reused and recycled effectively at specialized lithium ion plants like RBS7. All Revo Batteries come in lightweight packaging made of 100% recycled material, with an innovative triangle shape that can be easily opened and stored. To help with battery access, we put in an individual dock for each battery. We also included a label on each battery that shows the power level, so the consumer can know which batteries are dead, rather than having to throw out an entire set. We put an infographic inside our container explaining the steps to recycle the batteries, from where and how to put each battery when they die, to the steps to mail out the package when the batteries are all dead. Revo is setting the standard on how to recycle electronic waste responsibly and effectively, but relies on the consumer to take the final step in our commitment to keep our planet safe. 1 Gasper, Paul. “Economic Feasibility of a Mechanical Separation Process for Recycling Alkaline Batteries. ” Journal of New Materials for Electrochemical Systems. (2013): 297. 2 “Battery Disposal Guide for Households - Where to Safely Recycle Used Batteries,” EHSO, http://www.ehso.com/ehshome/batteries.php. 3 Mark Brush, “Recycling that typical household battery is not as easy as you might think,” Michigan Radio (2014), http://michiganradio.org/post/recycling-typical-household-battery-not-easy-you-might-think. 4 “ Duracell Battery Care Use and Disposal,” Duracell, h ttps://www.duracell.com/en-us/technology/battery-care-use-and-disposal/. 5 Gasper, Paul. “Economic Feasibility of a Mechanical Separation Process for Recycling Alkaline Batteries. ” Journal of New Materials for Electrochemical Systems. (2013): 297. 6 Mark Brush, “Recycling that typical household battery is not as easy as you might think,” Michigan Radio (2014), http://michiganradio.org/post/recycling-typical-household-battery-not-easy-you-might-think. 7 Zeng, Xianlai “Recycling of Spent Lithium-Ion Battery: A Critical Review.” C ritical Reviews in Environmental Science And Technology. (2013): 1129.