It’s Time to Say Goodbye to Single Use Batteries

April 9, 2024 8:50 am in by
Img: Pale Blue

Millions of single use batteries are thrown away every day posing a significant threat to the environment due to their widespread use and improper disposal methods. These batteries contain toxic chemicals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium, which can leach into the soil and water when they end up in landfills. Improper disposal also leads to incineration, releasing harmful pollutants into the air. To mitigate these dangers, widespread adoption of rechargeable batteries and proper recycling programs is essential to reduce the environmental impact of single-use batteries.

You can also switch to the use of rechargeable batteries and there are a couple of good reasons to do so. One is of course the environment but the other is the cost of living. Batteries can be an unnecessary expense especially when used in an appliance that chews up the power and spits them out. Kids toys are a massive one, how many times have you changed the batteries out in that light up toy kitchen, walkie-talkie set or some models of game controllers that give up in the middle of a long Minecraft session?

One brand of rechargeable batteries I’ve found to be a game changer is the Pale Blue series that are Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Batteries that can actually hold a decent charge cycle. Even though from a distance they look like standard AA or AAA batteries they are so much more.

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Rechargeable batteries in the past have been full of issues. You often need a bulky charger and over time the batteries lose effectiveness or eventually just stop working all together. Advances in technology in the past 20 years has given companies like Pale Blue the opportunity to re-think the product from the ground up and the result is really surprising.

First up, they reinvented the need for a wall charger device and instead blended it into the tiny battery itself. This adds a convenience as the battery instead gets charged via USB, just like your phone, earbuds or multiple other devices. It is really odd at first seeing a USB type c slot on your battery but it works fantastically and makes the whole package really small for anyone looking to pack them in a bag for travel.

The batteries fast charge in under an hour from zero to go and each Pale Blue battery has a built in flashing led indicator so you can see them charging. They are good for around 1000 or more charge cycles, which is pretty impressive. Think about that for a second. You can charge them around 1000 times before they will die on you, that’s significantly better than 1000 dead single use batteries in landfill when disposed of incorrectly, but even more the packaging that comes with those 1000 use single batteries is also bypassed.

We tested the AA and AAA battery types but there are all sorts of different sizes for all of your devices. Each set comes in a carry case to store the batteries and charging cable when not in use or when traveling and naturally the packaging is made up of recycled elements.

One thing worth pointing out is that these types of batteries are not really suitable for your smoke detectors. Always check your user manual for the exact type to use in those devices.

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Using the batteries in something like an Xbox Controller was a really good fit. The controller I used was the original device included with the Xbox series X as opposed to the newer models that have a battery built into the device. Now the downside of the battery is that they don’t charge while the controller is plugged into the console via USB. You need to remove them and plug them via the battery’s own USB connection. This is easily dealt with as a controller runs on USB anyway, so you can plug it in and keep playing, but you’ll need to take them out and charge them while you do. Of course a more viable solution for an older Xbox controller is to just get the official Xbox charging battery that slots into the position and you never have to take it out but these worked fine in it and were a good alternative.

Best use was in devices like a TV remote controls, electronic door locks and other similar powered electronics. Because of the Lithium-Ion smart circuitry build these are also suitable for lamps and torches in a way that the old NiMh rechargeables were not.

You can’t fault at all what Pale Blue are trying to do for the environment and the reasons behind it. It’s truly inspiring to see that they’ve managed to build a better rechargeable battery that fits a more modern technology lifestyle taking advantage of USB connections and moving it all onto the battery itself is certainly unique and useful. They are also giving back financially through initiatives like 1% for the planet. It would be easy to rely on the good will of the environmental benefits alone, but to actually have a decent piece of tech as well makes this product a worthwhile purchase.