Ecosurety launches #BringBackHeavyMetal with new home collections initiative

Campaign partner Currys PCWorld to collect used household batteries through network of home installation teams to help combat low recycling rates

The #BringBackHeavyMetal campaign was created by Ecosurety and Hubbub in 2017 due to the fact that the UK gets through 40 million tonnes of portable batteries per year, and a recycling rate of less than 45% means that around 22 million tonnes are either sitting in people’s homes, being dumped into landfill or incinerated.

Now in its second year, #BringBackHeavyMetal is encouraging everyone during October to search through kitchen drawers, under the stairs or wherever their unwanted batteries are discarded, to take them along to their nearest collection point. 

A new initiative for 2018

For 2018 the campaign features a new initiative to test the impact of home battery collections on recycling rates for the first time. Throughout October Currys PCWorld customers will be encouraged to recycle used batteries they have in their homes when they are having new appliances delivered and installed.

This concept is being tested across a fleet of 365 vans and the used batteries will be returned back to regional depots for onward recycling, after customers have deposited them in collection containers carried by the installation teams.

In addition to the home collection scheme, all of Currys PCWorld’s 322 stores will feature special battery bins and eye catching signage to encourage customers to drop in their old batteries, in conjunction with 10% off promotion in-store on a selected range of new batteries.

To enable a consistent and strong message to be shared with consumers throughout October, a number of retailers are supporting the campaign online including Morrisons, Sainsburys, Lidl, The Entertainer and Currys PCWorld.

Hubbub will also be delivering a targeted social media campaign, including three impactful videos, to remind people to recycle their batteries and enable them to find their nearest collection point.

Educating consumers is critical

Commenting on the 2018 launch of #BringBackHeavyMetal, James Piper, managing director of Ecosurety said “Educating consumers about why and how they can recycle their batteries is critical as we struggle as a nation to reach the recycling target of 45%. We hope this second edition of the campaign will have a positive effect on battery collection rates.”

Currys PCWorld is owned by Dixons Carphone. Matthew Manning, Compliance and Recycling Operations manager for the company, commented “We always aim to ensure as many batteries as possible are handed in at Currys PCWorld for recycling and #BringBackHeavyMetal provides a great focal point for our work in this area."

"To be the first retailer to test home battery collections in this way is really exciting for us and our staff are proud to be involved in the campaign. We look forward to playing a key role in making this year’s campaign a real success.”

Make it as easy as possible to recycle

Hubbub CEO Trewin Restorick, said:Batteries are made of valuable heavy metals which can be reused, including lead, mercury, cadmium, zinc and manganese. These toxic contents can be hazardous if not disposed of properly, yet half of the respondents to a Hubbub poll admitted throwing batteries in the regular waste bin."

"We want to make it as easy as possible for people to recycle their used batteries so this year we are particularly excited that Currys PCWorld have agreed to test home collection through their delivery and installation service. We will be evaluating the success of this pilot and look forward to seeing the impact of the overall campaign on battery recycling rates.”

Whilst it is crucial to increase UK battery recycling rates, it is also important that there are sufficient UK battery recycling facilities. Currently the UK exports the majority of its batteries for treatment overseas to countries such as Poland, France and Germany. To help reduce this dependance on exporting waste batteries, Ecosurety is working with Belmont Trading Ltd to create a recycling plant in Scotland that will have the capacity to deal with around 80% of the UK’s batteries. 


#BringBackHeavyMetal 2018

To find out how you can help to support the campaign, or to arrange battery collections for your stores, please contact our team.

Ben Luger

Marketing projects specialist

Ben joined the team at the beginning of 2015 and helps drive marketing communications and projects for Ecosurety, including project managing the launch of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund and website content development.

Written by Ben Luger Published 01/10/2018 Topics Ecosurety

Useful links

Q3 2023 portable battery collection data on target

The quarterly data reveals a total of 25,511 tonnes of portable batteries have so far been placed on the UK market this year, 14,738 of which have been collected and sent for treatment to Approved Battery Treatment Operators (ABTOs) or Exporters (ABEs). 


UK still not collecting enough waste batteries, according to latest figures

Provisional figures, published by the Environment Agency on 28 February, highlight the UK’s failure meet its 45% collection target for household batteries in 2017 – a shortfall of 0.12%.


UK provisionally on track to hit 2018 battery collection target

The release of the 2018 Q4 battery collection figures indicate that the UK is on track to hit the 2018 collections target with ease


Get in touch