ESA to relaunch ‘Zombie Battery’ campaign for Halloween

First launched in October 2020, the Take Charge campaign urged the public to “join the fight against zombie batteries” (see story).

ESA, the trade association representing the private waste sector, will relaunch the campaign, emphasizing the message that “consumers should never throw away batteries”.

The campaign instructs the public to recycle batteries separately from other waste at Household Waste Recycling Centers (HWRCs) or department stores, rather than putting them in their residual waste or recycling bins.

The original campaign secured “significant media coverage” in national online media, radio, television and print, including the BBC, Guardian, Daily Mail, Telegraph and Sky News, according to the report. ESA.

To date, the campaign website has had more than 16,000 page views, according to ESA, while a film released alongside the campaign has been viewed more than 6,000 times.


The relaunch of the campaign will be divided into two “phases” and will target two audience groups: the general public and “young adults” in their late teens and early twenties.

The first phase of the Take Charge campaign will be ‘zombie battery’ themed to tie into Halloween

The first phase of the relaunched campaign will run from October 24 to November 6 and will be themed “zombie battery” in connection with Halloween. ESA will target audiences with a targeted Halloween activity period where all of its supporting organizations will share a range of “digital materials” on their social media channels, while also running a paid social media advertising campaign targeting young adults. .

The second phase will take place from November 7 and will not feature the zombie battery concept. ESA will provide supporter organizations with a range of materials including posters, banners, bin holders, vector graphics and social media content for use on their sites and channels “in perpetuity”. The paid social media ad campaign targeting young adults will continue, but without the Halloween-themed branding.

The Ecosurety battery compliance program will sponsor the next phase of the campaign, according to the ESA.


In 2019, the ESA found that batteries had started nearly 260 fires at recycling or waste management facilities in the UK between April 2019 and March 2020.

The ESA says batteries, including power supplies such as the one pictured, started 260 fires at waste management facilities between April 2019 and March 2020

Elsewhere, research in 2021 by ESA and Material Focus, the non-profit organization funded by the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) compliance fee, found that at least 25% of the British people throw batteries the wrong way. bins.

Of the people who throw batteries in the trash, most say they don’t know what to do with them, according to the ESA. Only 10% of those who use batteries are aware of the risk of fire. These binning batteries seem more likely to be “younger and more feminine”, according to the ESA, especially for bulk batteries.


ESA is not the only organization to launch a public campaign aimed at combating battery fires in recent times.

In July, the REPIC compliance program launched an initiative to reduce the risk of fires in HWRCs and wastewater treatment plants (see story). REPIC’s campaign sees battery collection drums and safety message posters installed in nearly 400 local authority HWRCs with which the compliance program partners.

And, a few weeks later, Material Focus launched its own public-facing campaign to raise awareness of steps households could take to fight battery fires.

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