Five million vapes are thrown away every week, the campaign group said

Five million vapes are thrown away every week, the campaign group said

More than seven million vapes are used every week in the UK – double the amount bought by 2022.

However, only 17% of people correctly dispose of their vapes at a store or local recycling center, Material Focus said.

Disposable vapes have sweet and fruity flavors like pink lemonade, gummy bear and watermelon.

Vapes, also known as E-cigarettes, are toxic and can be harmful to the environment and wildlife if discarded.

When not disposed of correctly, they can cause fires due to the batteries hidden inside them.

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Scott Butler, executive director of Material Focus, a not-for-profit organization campaigning to increase rates of vaping reuse, said the problem of single vaping use was “out of control”.

Research by the organization found 73% of UK vapers say they throw away single-use vapes, with 33% of 16- to 18-year-old vapers admitting to throwing their vapes in the bin at their place of study or work. .

Five million vapes are thrown away every week, which equates to eight per second, Material Storage said, a sharp increase from the 1.3m thrown away by 2022.

Vapes and other electronic devices should not be placed in the regular waste bin and should be placed in dedicated bins for safe and proper disposal.

Material Focus believes that all supermarkets, high street shops, petrol stations and specialist vape shops should take back used vapes when new ones are bought.

Nation: Although marketed as disposable, single-use vapes can have a devastating impact on the environment when disposed of improperly.Although marketed as disposable, single-use vapes can have harmful effects on the environment when disposed of improperly. (Image: Best Eco)

“Very few manufacturers and retailers are complying with environmental regulations and have not put recycling facilities and systems in place,” Butler said.

“This all means that authorities are often burdened with major operational and financial headaches associated with what is currently the fastest growing and most dangerous substance in the UK – single-use vapes,” he continued.

“Vapes, like any other electronic device with a plug, battery or cord, should not be tied down and should always be recycled at a minimum.”

According to the group’s research, 76 percent of vapers said they could recycle if vapes were marketed as “recyclables”.

More than half (54%) of vapers say they would recycle if there were recycling facilities in stores and 40% of 16 to 18 year old vapers said they would recycle if there were recycling facilities. in their place of education or work.

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Butler added: “We need a rapid increase in the number of accessible and visible recycling points. And we need proper funding for real recycling solutions to recover materials and manage fire risks.

“Until alternative vape manufacturers, retailers and sellers act honestly to comply with and fund their legal environmental responsibilities, calls for a ban on its sale will grow stronger.”

The UK Vaping Industry Association said the industry will work to “educate consumers on how to dispose of their single-use devices and other vapes in an environmentally responsible way”.

The statement continued: “We have always acknowledged the environmental challenge posed by the use of single vapes.

“We welcome the solutions put forward by Material Focus and are leading business action in a number of these areas and beyond.

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“Consumer education on how to reuse single-use vapes; product innovations that increase recycling rates; compliance with current regulations; and investing in waste collection facilities at the point of use, and not just at the point of sale, are all important to reducing the environmental impact of single vaping.

“We need to protect the environment while recognizing the contribution that disposable vapes make to helping smokers start their journey to quit, helping to achieve the Government’s 2030 smoke-free ambitions.”

Earlier this month, the Office for National Statistics found 5.2% of people will use cigarettes every day in 2022, up from 4.9% in 2021, with an additional 3.5% reporting occasional vape use. from 2.8%.

First Minister Humza Yousaf has promised a consultation on banning the sale of single-use vapes in Scotland.

He said: “The government will negotiate a ban on the sale of disposable vapes, including consultation on a ban.”

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