Greenwashing Scams by Energizer Batteries

What is greenwashing? Green washing is when companies mislead consumers into thinking that their product is green or eco-friendly, when the company actually operates in the opposite manner.

Energizer batteries have released Energizer Ecoadvanced batteries that are made from 4% of recycled battery materials. The Energizer company claims that this change will result in a positive impact on the environment by producing less waste; buying less amount of batteries, will create less waste.

Here’s where greenwashing comes into play. The production and distribution of batteries in factories largely pollutes the air we breathe and uses a lot of energy to make the product. Energizer must also mine for the materials used which destroys the natural environment in the process.

After a battery stops working, you throw it away. This is because places where batteries can be recycled are not readily available. At earth911.com you can look up places to drop off and recycle or the batteries can be mailed it, but it creates a hassle. I think it would be more innovative if battery recycling bins were more readily available, like plastic and paper. The company uses their recycling to distract the consumer from the bigger picture, a lesser of two evils.

They also make irrelevant claims. The Energizer company claims that they removed mercury and cadmium from their products to reduce waste by using longer lasting metals. In reality they didn’t make the choice to remove the metals to be helpful; mercury and cadmium were banned from use in the US.

Basically, Energizer uses their “positive impact” messaging to evade the fact that their corporation has a large environmental footprint. They’re not the only company that does this, but most people, including myself, do not take the time to look up how every single product they use impacts the environment.

http://www.energizer.com/ecoadvanced?&gclid=CO6I8OvqlckCFQasaQodMroOtw

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21 thoughts on “Greenwashing Scams by Energizer Batteries

  1. I wish that recycling batteries was easier and centers were more common since certain elements like cobalt/nickel are becoming harder to find deposits of, but much of the industry relies on outdated and expensive procedures to recycle the batteries like crushing them then sieving out the metals from the acids. Then also if the casing corrodes in the landfill the acids can and sometimes do leach out and into the water table.

    Mercury is still actually allowed in silver oxide batteries which are mostly used for watches and medical apparati.
    -FinnDonovan

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  2. I always find myself wishing that there were more places to recycle batteries. I’m pretty sure Target has bins that you can drop them off in, but I always seem to forget to bring my collected ones when I go there. The 4% recycled battery part really is the sin of irrelevance because I highly doubt that that will make a significant impact at all, despite their claims.

    Kris Kowalk

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  3. Green washing in battery sales has been alive for quite some time it seems. The rechargeable batteries are a neat idea but the problem that I see with them is that the fuel it takes to charge those will translate into pollution in one way or another. I did not know that mercury and cadmium were banned in the United States! This is a funny trick that they played by telling everyone that they took out the harmful metals to be green but in reality they were just not allowed to use them. Your post brought a lot of things into light for me regarding the battery industry.

    Zach Werner

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  4. I knew it was a scam in advertising. Manipulating information to create a belief and influence one’s actions. I guess that is the goal of advertising.

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  5. Fantastic, I love how bad a product can be and still we think it is a green product.

    josh bertke

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  6. I’ve never even thought to recycle my batteries. I wish they would market that too! This definitely goes to show how easy it is to turn a view in your favor

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  7. I would expect that the market for battery-dependent devices would be looking to convert to the cellphone battery technologies that can be recharged without removal or plugging in. Perhaps the disposal battery producers will go the way of the horse wagon guys. Nice expose.

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  8. Being we are a battery user society I was somewhat alarmed to learn how a large corporation will use devious methods to sell their product at the cost of our environment.

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  9. I was actually thinking the same thing as Trevor. I am sure the electronic companies could manufacture rechargable remote controls etc. and elliminate disposable batteries altogether. If we can recharge our phones and laptops, wouldnt it be simple to do so with many other items that use so much less energy? And 4 percent of recycled material is NOT much…. how much impact does that really have, and they charge a lot more for those! Definate mis-leading.. ..

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  10. Interesting! You make some good points and raise awareness of how easily people trust companies that claim to be ‘green’ without question. On an even larger scale, it makes me think about Toyota Prius’ which run on batteries and are a ‘green’ choice in vehicles.

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  11. First of all: Stop throwing your batteries in the garbage!

    I recently made the 25 minute drive to the recycling center to drop off some old paint, batteries, oil and the old television and you can too, hopefully.

    Green marketing and advertising is such a hot commodity, but most consumers are uninformed as to how things are produced and the real.effect of what making certain things does to the planet. We see something is “Green” and suddenly it tugs a heart-string. We feel like we’re helping a little bit and even willing to pay more if it means that it’s “safer for the environment.” Marketing strategists eat that up and will try any way they can to fool us, which in Energizer’s case, we got duped. Thanks for the info! I’m a big fan of rechargeable anything too.

    Sadly, most people don’t realize the long-term impact of these old batteries leaching lead, cadmium, mercury, etc into their drinking water and soil and just toss them in the garbage can. Trust me, I was misinformed for a long time as well. I think the idea for battery recycling bins is a brilliant idea. Even if they can’t be recycled, per se, they would be disposed of properly, we hope.

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  12. Caveat emptor. Too bad more people don’t care about the truth of manufacturing and companies make it easy to “feel good” about using their products with sound bites. Bah humbug. Long live “long copy,” where you generally find more truth in marketing.

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  13. The major companies not just for batteries but all that can impact the environment in a positive manner won’t and don’t. They are more worried about mankind money. And changing methods costs more money and its never a guarantee of success.

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  14. As consumers, we rarely look at companies to see what kind of air pollution they are causing, or their drilling unless it is in our own backyard. Perhaps this is something to we all need to address as a whole society, instead of just looking at our immediate need. I will look into where I can recycle my batteries after reading this!

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  15. Wow. This really has me thinking

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  16. Wow I have never heard of this, very interesting paper, I’m definitely gonna look more into it!

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  17. Very interesting read. Would love to see recycling bins for batteries.

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  18. Of course a company is going to spin information in a way that’s most beneficial to them. We all do it (even in our private lives). Ultimately, it’s up to the consumer to take charge of their spending to reward the companies that align with their morales, values , etc. and deny companies that don’t.

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  19. Great info! If we all took the time to make small changes and help others make small changes, like providing easier access to safe disposal/recycling of batteries, it would decrease our ‘footprints’ we leave behind. Maybe along the way we can even convince larger companies to actually do the same instead of just making claims.

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