In the tech-saturated 21st Century, batteries have become a part of our everyday lives. Every year in the U.S. an estimated 3 billion disposable batteries are sold, and the environmental impact of these batteries is massive.
Batteries use chemical reactions to store and produce energy. Unfortunately, many of the chemicals used in these reactions, if improperly disposed of, can harm the environment. Despite recycling programs around the country, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans throw away billions of disposable batteries each year.
Every day, Tandem insulin pump users are doing their part to reduce, reuse, and recycle. As the only rechargeable insulin pumps on the market, Tandem insulin pumps have kept an estimated 1.6 million disposable batteries out of landfills since becoming available in 2012.1 We’re proud to do our small part to help reduce the number of disposable batteries going into our landfills.
Rechargeable batteries have a much smaller environmental footprint thanks to their reusability. Not only do they last longer over time, but also – thanks to trade-in programs for the high-tech devices that use these batteries – the heavy metals find their way into landfills less often than their disposable counterparts.
At Tandem we have several ongoing recycling programs where we work with vendors who specialize in each particular waste material. During the 2016 calendar year, we recycled:
- 90 pounds of alkaline batteries used in our offices
- 241 pounds of lithium batteries from our production areas
- 32,000 pounds of plastics and metals used to make our pumps and cartridges
- 3000 pounds of general recycled e-waste like computers, copiers, and fax machines that can be reused, refurbished, or recycled
- 25 gallons of used medical sharps generated by our employees with diabetes and our pump training sessions.2
Instead of contributing to the problem, the good news is that we can all make a difference right now by replacing single-use batteries with the recyclable, rechargeable kind.
By using rechargeable batteries, you not only save money, but also ensure that fewer batteries get into landfills.
1Estimation as of 4/1/2017, assuming 20-day battery life of disposable batteries when used in other insulin pumps. Data on file.
2Medical waste is incinerated, not recycled.