background navigation

Dutch people use a lot more batteries than they realise

For the seventh time in a row, Stichting Stibat Services had a large-scale survey carried out into batteries in Dutch households. Some of the questions focused on the knowledge of batteries and people’s behaviours around battery collection. There was also a battery count: participants used a special booklet to list which devices they have and how many batteries those devices hold. The results are surprising.

An average of 107 batteries per household

A Dutch household owns on average 107 batteries, new, empty, and used ones. That is a lot more than the 36 batteries they estimated for themselves. In 2018, people had as many as 118 batteries, mainly because they used more devices. Households with children own the most batteries by far (150), followed by households without children (111) and single-person households (76). Most batteries are used in remotes, torches, bicycle lights, telephones, and toys. But garden lights, wireless keyboards, and smoke alarms also found their way into the top ten.

55 per cent are aware of the potential for recycling

Most people have a good knowledge of batteries. Almost all know that an accumulator is a battery, and that you should not dispose of a button cell battery in the residual waste. People also know that the local authority’s recycling centre is not the only place where you can dispose of discarded batteries. However, the knowledge of the recycling potential is rather lacking. It is common knowledge that recycled batteries can be used to make new batteries. Yet, 45% of people did not know that the recycled metals also end up in new products, such as cheese slicers and bicycles.

Battery collection is very important: 8.7

Dutch people value the separate collection of discarded batteries. On a scale of 1 to 10, people rate it 8.7 on average. More than 65% always disposes of discarded batteries separately. In comparison: this percentage is higher for paper (83 per cent) and glass (80 per cent). Most people say the environment is the main reason for the separate disposal of batteries. Moreover, 64 per cent feel it requires little effort. Stibat Services has 25,000 collection points throughout the Netherlands. Supermarkets are the most popular collection points.

Battery survey: how and why

Stichting Batterijen asks research firm Panteia to conduct the Stibat Services battery survey every three years. The participating households received a questionnaire with multiple‑choice questions, open questions, and a battery booklet for the battery count. Stibat Services uses the results to increase awareness among consumers, and as such, to contribute to a better environment. Stibat Services is a non-profit organisation that collects, sorts, and recycles discarded batteries and accumulators. More information here: and