Energizer Plant is Going … Going … Gone

Energizer, the manufacturer of disposable AA, AAA, C and 9-volt batteries, announced its decision to shutter its northwest Missouri plant next year, leaving about 300 workers out of a job.

The company announced earlier this month it was closing its Maryville, Missouri, plant as part of a restructuring plan made necessary by a global trend toward rechargeable batteries. Demand for disposable batteries has been declining for the last few years because of the trend toward reusable, cost-effective products.

While no one is pleased to see anyone lose their job, not everyone is sorry to see the plant go. Environmental groups point out that the lack of proper recycling facilities for disposable batteries, especially in undeveloped nations, is a detriment compared with environmentally sensitive rechargeable alternatives. This is an especially contentious point if Energizer decides to liquidate the plant and dispose of the assets, though no formal announcement of the plant’s fate has been made. One would, of course, hope that they would start with an appraisal first.

The closing of the plant is part of the company’s overall restructuring, which will ultimately result in a loss of more than 10 percent of its workforce, or about 1,500 people, as it tries to rev up results in its battery business.

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