GP Batteries are encouraging retailers to sign up to their ‘Recharge the Outdoors’ campaign at OTS. We speak to James Tuck, Marketing Manager for GP Batteries (U.K.) Limited, to find out more…
Can you tell us about your ‘Recharge the Outdoors’ campaign?
Every year the UK throws away 600 million batteries; with 50 percent (20,000 tonnes) being sent to landfill. Batteries ending up in landfill is a massive problem for the environment and the UK is the worst Western European country for battery recycling; in fact, the UK missed its EU set target for battery recycling last year! The campaign, which is being backed by the Outdoor Industries Association, is challenging both retailers and consumers to switch to eco-friendly rechargeable batteries and recycle single-use disposable batteries in a bid to reduce the vast number of batteries thrown away each year; therefore, reducing waste and reducing our footprint on the planet.
Over half the UK population still don’t know that all batteries can be recycled once they reach their end-of-life, so there needs to be greater education on the environmental impact of discarded batteries and what they can do about it. This campaign will hopefully raise awareness of battery usage, the importance of recycling old batteries and urge consumers to switch to rechargeable ones; but we need retailers to help us achieve this.
We would like retailers to commit to only selling rechargeable batteries on the basis that they are better for the environment and we want them to actively communicate this message to their customers in store as well as to encourage battery recycling. Any retailer or business that sells over 30kg of batteries a year is legally obliged, under EU law, to join a battery compliance scheme, which taxes the sale and distribution of batteries. They also have to offer the collection of batteries in store for recycling, which is managed by the compliance scheme partner.
We appreciate that making the commitment is a big step and requires support, so we have created a retail package that offers independent retailers a turnkey solution- including free POS, to help make their transition as easy as possible. We’re also working with larger retailers and multiples to find a solution that best suits them
Which brands and stores are already involved?
Currently multi-store retailer Hooked On Granite have joined the campaign since it launched, and we are in negotiations with several other outdoor retailers.
Is it important to get more retailers on board?
Yes, hugely! The only way this initiative will work is if retailers get involved. People tend to follow by example, so the more early adopters we get the better. Once retailers see other stores only selling rechargeables, hopefully they will follow suit! If we want to make a significant difference to the amount of batteries thrown away or recycled, then we need to get as many retailers on board as possible. The outdoor industry is the ideal platform to champion this initiative – as natural outdoor lovers there is the instinct to recycle and reduce waste to protect the environment.
What products are you exhibiting at OTS?
As well as our professional grade beam torch range, range of powerbanks and rechargeable batteries, which we launched to the trade at last year’s show, we will be showcasing our newest innovations. This includes new models in the GPDesign beam range, new GP head torches, new GP ChargeAnyway and our new M series powerbanks.
We will also have on show our ReCyco+ battery range to help promote our Recharge the Outdoors campaign. Our ReCyco+ Pro rechargeable batteries can be recharged up to 1,500 times; meaning for each battery used, 1,500 less single-use disposable batteries will have to be used and recycled or sent to landfill.
What makes them unique compared to what else is on the market?
The beam torch range was launched under our premium brand GPDesign and is designed for the serious outdoor consumer and professional user. Torches in the range are meticulously crafted for easy handling and robust performance. Boasting a further endorsement of quality, the entire flashlight collection was selected from thousands of products from all over the world by an expert committee and awarded the prestigious and internationally recognised Red Dot Award in the ‘Product Design 2017’ category. We’re launching two new models to the beam range at the show, these will feature a multi-power model and also a multi-colour.
Our ReCyko+ Pro batteries are some of the most powerful rechargeable batteries on the market and are ideal for high drain appliances such as digital cameras, torches and head torches. Their longevity makes them excellent value for money.
The new GP Xplor head torch range, also launching at the show, will feature will feature three models, one 200 lumen and two 300 lumen. Features in the range include range sensors and hand sensors to help users better control their head-mounted light source.
Our new M series powerbank range is available in a range of vibrant colours, offering from 5,000 mAh up to 15,000 mAh, and the range features new USB type C compatibility technology. The range is the ideal power product to keep tech products charged when camping, hiking or in everyday life.
GP’s new ChargeAnyway is a quick battery charger that also offers the added benefit of a powerbank function, this means you can draw power from the included powerful rechargeable AA batteries to charge your devices, and as it comes with lithium free Ni-Mh batteries it’s perfect for travelling!
What are you hoping to achieve at the show?
Last year GP exhibited at OTS for the first time as we wanted to get our products into the outdoor market. We successfully launched our award-winning range of beam torches and our powerbanks to the trade. This year we are looking to build on last year’s success by introducing some brand-new products and innovations, which will hopefully get some good uptake with retailers.
Another key objective of ours is to promote and get retailers to sign up to our recently launched Recharge the Outdoors campaign. The campaign was launched at the OIA Conference in March earlier this year and OTS is the ideal place to generate greater awareness with as many retailers as possible. We hope our presence at the show will encourage retailers to find out more about this great initiative and take a step to signing up themselves!
Additionally, we want to grow awareness of the GP brand generally. GP are the world’s leading rechargeable battery manufacturer, and as such we’re always developing technology and battery related products and looking for new routes to market. With our latest ranges of products being designed specifically for the outdoor enthusiast, we believe it’s a great opportunity not only for us, but also for retailers.
Why should we visit you at the show?
By visiting the GP stand you can find out more information about how to join the Recharge the Outdoors campaign and how we can best support you in the process. As part of our campaign we will have battery recycling bins dotted around the hall. We’re running a battery amnesty in the hope that visitors to the show will bring used and dead batteries from their home or work with them to recycle and help reduce batteries being sent to landfill. It’s estimated that there are over 180 million batteries in draws and cupboards in UK homes, so it’s likely all visitors will have some hidden away.
You’ll also be able to view our current and new range of torches, head torches and powerbanks that are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.