Government research has shown that the average UK male owns 12 battery powered gadgets, and the majority fail to recycle their old batteries when they are spent.

The Department for Environment Food and Rural affairs has done research into gadget use, as it tries to push its new recycling service for batteries brought about by the Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009.

Apparently, despite the average British male owning a dozen battery-powered gadgets, 63 per cent of the group throw their batteries away when they are spent – and 97 per cent of those disposed cells end up in landfill.

New legislation

New legislation means that shops and online retailers now have to offer facilities to recycle batteries with any retailers selling more than 32kg of batteries a year having to comply.

Most supermarkets and many high street shops will have collection points, as will some town halls, libraries or schools, says Defra.

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Hilary Benn, said: "This new legislation will make it easier for consumers to do the right thing whilst ensuring retailers fulfil their part of the bargain.

"Old batteries can cause harm to the environment when they are not recycled. The new approach to disposal of batteries will help to reduce the number of batteries that now end up in landfill."