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Little Life Savers: Can we live without batteries?

  • Battery powered Brits reveal they can’t live without iPhones (38%), laptops (38%) and remote controls (29%) vs 24% who have never replaced their household alarm batteries
  • Over a third (38%) of UK adults admit they have had an event ruined due to their battery power dying
  • Almost two thirds (62%) of parents have forgotten to buy batteries, resulting in an average of three tantrums
  • Despite being one of the nation’s most-used necessities, there are an estimated 189 million redundant batteries across the UK

Most people will agree they’ve experienced a moment when all they really want is some battery power. Whether that’s their phone suddenly running at 2% whilst out and about or their child opening a new toy and realising it’s ‘batteries not included’.

In fact, new research from VARTA Batteries has found that 38% admit they have even had an event ruined by their batteries running out, including nights out (17%), birthdays (11%), eating out (9%), music festivals (8%) and even weddings (7%).

An overwhelming 82% also revealed they couldn’t live without some of their favourite battery powered items, with iPhones (38%), laptops (38%) and the humble remote control (29%) topping the list alongside iPads (18%) and digital cameras (12%).

It seems that females feel more pressure to stay connected than men with just under half of women in the UK (41%) saying they could not live without their iPhone, compared to 35% of men.

Gadget Show presenter and tech enthusiast, Craig Charles, said: “With so many people reliant on battery powered technology it’s amazing to think that on the whole batteries are viewed as more a functional must-have than what they really are: the hidden power that makes the things they go in work and come to life.

“This research highlights that people have an emotional connection to the items driven by batteries even if they don’t spare a thought for the technology behind them.

With new technology constantly emerging, and a rise in demand for smart entertainment products, the need for batteries is only going to increase.”

The findings also found that running out of battery power has left half (50%) of us in a tricky situation, from missing capturing special memories (23%) to getting lost (16%) or being unable to find our destination altogether (11%) and missing meetings ( 7%).

A lack of batteries has also been the source of many temper tantrums, with 62% of respondents with children saying they have forgotten to buy batteries when needed, causing an average of three tantrums per family.

Mona Chan from VARTA Batteries, commented: “The research highlights that batteries can often be a panic buy, despite being key to creating memories. We aim to support people to power these special moments and enjoy the emotional benefits and freedom that batteries provide.

“Whether it be to avoid a temper tantrum when a new toy is purchased or realising the torch has no batteries when camping in the dark, keeping batteries to hand makes sure we are fully equipped for whatever life throws at us.”

In contrast to the items the nation can’t live without, the research highlights that Brits place less value on life saving appliances such as Co2 and fire alarms than tech such as digital cameras, iPhones and iPads. A staggering 59% don’t replace their household alarms (fire alarm or Co2 monitor) the same day as they run out, even though it can put their lives in danger, and just under a quarter of Brits (24%) have never replaced their household alarm batteries.

Finally, when looking at what Brits do once their batteries run out, less than half (48%) take used batteries to a battery bank, just under four in ten (39%) throw them in the bin and 15% have a drawer which their used batteries call home.

Mona, continued: “The research highlights a serious need for people to do more when it comes to safely disposing of their batteries, in an environmentally friendly way. It found there are a staggering 189 million redundant batteries across the UK, due to people not knowing how to correctly get rid of them.

The best way to minimise the number of batteries used in the future and to cut back on waste is by investing in rechargeable or high performance batteries.”

For more information on recycling and battery disposal, please visit: https://www.varta-consumer.com/en/company/environment-sustainibility


Notes to editor

Research conducted by VARTA in March 2019, surveying 2,015 Brits

Media contacts:

Danielle Stott: d.stott@brassagency.com - 0113 2200605

Cathy Skelton: c.skelton@brassagency.com - 0113 2200742

About VARTA Consumer Batteries GmbH & Co. KGaA

is one of the biggest producers of batteries and power sources, and Germany's no. 1 battery brand with over 130 years history. From traditional AA and AAA batteries to specialist electronic and power banks, every product is produced at the highest technological level, using quality materials and the very best expertise.

VARTA understands that technology should help make life better and brighter, and are proud to support millions of people throughout their lives.


Media contacts:

Danielle Stott: d.stott@brassagency.com – 0113 2200605
Cathy Skelton: c.skelton@brassagency.com – 0113 2200742

Contact PR Agency

VARTA Consumer Batteries UK Ltd
Suite 49 Earl Business Centre,
Oldham, Greater Manchester,
OL8 2PF, England


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