US cereal giant Kellogg has announced its decision to use non-mercury batteries in future promotions, after it received criticism from consumers and environmentalists over the use of mercury batteries in a free Spider-Man toy that was included in some of the company’s products.

Kellogg said its decision to switch to non-mercury batteries in future demonstrated that “Kellogg is doing its part to address an issue that’s important to consumers and the environment”.

The “Spidey-Signal” toy that came free in some Kellogg products contained a button cell mercury battery similar to those used in watches and hearing aids. Kellogg said the toy meets or exceeds all US toy safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and has no effect on the quality or the safety of the food product.