“Rimi Lietuva“ has been collecting used batteries already for several years. However, as the practice shows, people are not used to collecting used batteries and bringing them to special containers. According to the Lithuanian producers and importers’ association, only 5 percent of all the batteries are collected for the recycling.
“Rimi Lietuva” Country Managing Director Tony Holmberg says that the vast majority of sold batteries are never brought back for the safe utilization – they are thrown out together with the trash instead. “We understand that it takes time to form certain habits, therefore, we decided to initiate a campaign, which should encourage people to use the energy responsibly. We are going to offer 40 percent discount to buy environmentally friendly multi-use batteries and their chargers for those who will bring the used batteries since 23 November to “Rimi”. Rechargeable batteries usually pay their dividends when they are used for the eighth time but because of the special offer they will buy off after the fifth usage”, - Tony Holmberg says.
Around 11 tons of various size batteries are sold annually, however, only a small part of it is brought back. Multi-use batteries amount to only 8 percent of the batteries sold. “Used batteries are small in size maybe that is the reason why people consider them harmless. However, the heavy metals that are inside those batteries seriously harm the environment. We changed the containers to new ones and made them more visible to encourage people to be more active in collecting old batteries. Customers who have electronics of a bigger size are also welcome to join the initiative – the shopping centers are ready to accept all kinds of electronics and take care of the recycling”, – continues Tony Holmberg.
Used batteries and electronic equipment will be taken away from “Rimi” stores by the Lithuanian producers and importers’ association. The collected waste will be exported to EU countries for the final recycling and safe environment. According to Andrius Puskorius, the director of the association, the tradition of collecting used batteries is still not present in Lithuania. “People bring to the shopping centers and other collection points only 5 percent of all the used batteries. In the meanwhile, our neighbors from Poland are four times more active – they collect around 24 percent of the used batteries, and Western countries bring back the majority of the batteries”, - said A. Puskorius.
Out of all the inactive and immorally thrown away batteries, heavy metals, metals, acid, toxic materials are spread to the environment. They pollute the ground, the surface and ground water. The major negative effect to the environment comes from lead, mercury, and cadmium. They accumulate in the life organisms and cause various diseases after they reach the environment. A part of the metals that is in the batteries – manganese, zinc, iron – are suitable for the recycling and further usage, therefore, it is important to utilize them properly.
“Rimi Lietuva” seeks to pay extraordinary attention to protecting the environment. The company contributes to various projects to protect the environment, supports the nature cleaning campaign. Furthermore, “Rimi” offers to buy environmentally friendly multi-use bags for carrying purchases.
About “Rimi Lietuva“
The company “Rimi Lietuva“ is responsible for 65 shopping centers around Lithuania: 28 “Rimi” (“Supermarket”), 13 “Rimi Hypermarket“, and 24 low-price “Supernetto“ shops.