Explore Topics

Review other categories within our Tandem blog for insightful articles.


Tandem pump users have kept more than 27 million batteries out of landfills

Tandem Diabetes Care is proud to focus on understanding the environmental impact of our business and products. We estimate that the Tandem Family has helped keep more than 27 million disposable batteries out of landfills since our pumps first became available in 2012.1

Together, the Tandem Family will save more than 44 million batteries over the life of their pumps — that's almost $89 million already saved, and more than $143 million that won't be spent on batteries over the lifetime of their pumps.2

Batteries use chemical reactions to store and produce energy. Unfortunately, many of these chemicals can harm the environment if they aren’t properly discarded. Despite recycling programs around the country, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans throw away billions of disposable batteries each year.

Rechargeable batteries, like those used in Tandem insulin pumps, have a much smaller environmental footprint because they are reusable. Not only do they last longer over time, but thanks to trade-in programs for the high-tech devices that use these batteries, the heavy metals also find their way into landfills less often than their disposable counterparts.

Historically, insulin pump upgrade programs have required a physical exchange of hardware. Yet, more than 380,000 Tandem pumps have been remotely updated with new software and features.* These remote updates have resulted in producing fewer screens, batteries, and circuit boards, and 760,000 fewer UPS shipments to keep Tandem customers outfitted with the newest technology. And, those numbers keep growing.

In 2023, we marked the first full year of using a new, recyclable material for our cartridge packaging, which reduced packaging material weight by 45%. This resulted in a 20% reduction for new cartridge shipping pallets, a reduction in expenses, and a minimization of the carbon footprint of our bulk shipping practices.

More than 55,000 pumps were refurbished in 2023. We recycle the components of pumps that can’t be refurbished. We have several ongoing recycling programs with vendors that specialize in e-waste, used medical sharps, and the different waste materials used to make our pumps and cartridges (including alkaline batteries, lithium batteries, plastics, and metals).3

This doesn’t have to be just an Earth Day initiative. We can all make a difference by replacing single-use batteries with the recyclable, rechargeable kind for any device we use. Using rechargeable batteries can lead to an array of benefits, including saving money and helping to ensure that fewer batteries get into landfills.

For ideas on proper disposal of diabetes waste in your area see: SafeNeedleDisposal.org

* Future updates for all or some Tandem products may not be developed and may not be offered everywhere and would be subject to applicable regulatory approvals. Software updates are only available to customers who are in warranty at the time they update their pump. Additional training may be required to access certain software updates. Charges may apply. Tandem may discontinue select software and features over time at its discretion.

1. Estimation since August 31, 2012, as of December 31, 2023, assuming 20-day battery life of disposable batteries when used in other insulin pumps. Data on file.
2. Calculation uses $12.99 for a 4-pack of lithium Energizer batteries.
3. Medical waste is incinerated, not recycled.

Note: This post was originally published April 2016 and is updated each Earth Day.

Back to Feed
Use the hashtag #tsliminthewild to connect with users and see how Tandem pumps have had a positively different impact on their life.