Which is the better battery: alkyline or rechargable?

July 2019—You may wonder which type of battery is better, both from a financial and environmental point of view. If you think rechargeable batteries are better, you’d be right. Certainly there’s less waste and they pay for themselves after about the 6th charge.

Going by a 2012 case study for the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, we can estimate that about 4 billion disposable batteries are shipped to the US each year. That means the average US household burns through about 47 batteries per year. But you could buy just 12 rechargeable batteries every four years (the average life span of some popular rechargeable batteries) instead of the 188 disposables you would otherwise need. And you wouldn’t lose much performance: The best rechargeables can power your devices on a single charge for just as long as most high-quality single-use batteries can, but at a fraction of the cost over time.

But there are a few places where the old, non-rechargeable batteries may be better. According to this article, there are at least 3 situations when you shouldn’t use rechargeable ones: low power devices like clocks, smoke alarms and emergency kits.