Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Ice Queen Goes Off On A Tangent
In which Ice Queen cracks the story on the seamy underbelly of lapin/alkaline marketing and dangerous toxic chemicals

Which battery company uses a pink bunny as a mascot? Energizer, right? Not so fast, cowboy. Check this out:

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WTF? Energizer should sue. This is a Chinese package*, but still this is clearly copyright infringement. Or is it?

Nope! Duracell first used a pink bunny (and still does in Europe and apparently Asia). The Energizer Bunny was brought out to parody the original Duracell bunny.

Now you know the facts. Don’t you feel better?

*Why are my batteries from China? Isn’t there some sort of import law? Don’t we make Duracell batteries here in Canada? Or are all batteries made in China?

When I go to research, I find the rebate offer on the Duracell Canada home page expired Dec. 31, 2005. And the contest has expired too. For shame!

More digging, leads me to FAQs, where I find:

There are Chinese letters on your batteries. What does it mean?
The characters indicate that the batteries are mercury free.


Cool! It DOES say that on my package. Say…why would I want mercury free batteries? Why do the Chinese get mercury free batteries and not ME? Time for more digging.

China has developed a number of laws targeting mercury content in batteries. These were among the first design-for-environment laws in China that focus on specific products.”

Why?

“Substandard batteries from China and Southeast Asia are poisoning Taiwan with increasing levels of mercury and other hazardous mineral waste, ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator-at-Large Wang Jung-chang (???) claimed.”

Oh. Do North America batteries have mercury in them?

“Mercury battery (also called mercuric oxide battery, or mercury cell) is a non-rechargeable electrochemical battery, a primary cell. Due to the content of mercury, and the resulting environmental concerns, the sale of mercury batteries is banned in many countries.”

Yes, but in Canada?

“With respect to batteries, the industry has voluntarily reduced the concentrations and use of mercury in the majority of batteries, with the exception of some specialized batteries. According to the Council, in light of the industry’s “voluntary commitment to essentially eliminating mercury from batteries in Canada, it is unlikely that a standard is necessary to ensure environmental releases are minimized,” with the possible exception of a standard for those few applications where mercury continues to be used in batteries.”

Uh huh. So that would be a definite “kind of”.

I could go on, but the topic grows tiresome. This is the time on Sprockets when we dance!

You may touch my monkey.

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