Again the issue of Disposable Vape waste is being talked about in the media.

recycle your vape
Image courtesy of recycleyourelectricals.org.uk

For instance the following news sites have had these articles on the topic:

Sadly the Telegraph article is behind a paywall but it mentions that the amount of Lithium from disposables every year would be enough to build 1,200 car batteries!

vape waste vehicle batteries
Image courtesy of recycleyourelectricals.org.uk

According to the Sky News article two disposables are being thrown away every second. Therefore around 10 tonnes of Lithium is being chucked.

Each disposable apparently only contains less than 1/10 of a gramme of Lithium but the sheer quantity being wasted adds up.

vape waste stats
Image courtesy of recycleyourelectricals.org.uk

Sky News quotes Mark Miodownik – the Professor of Materials and Society and University College London…

“We can’t be throwing these materials away, it really is madness in a climate emergency,”

“It’s in your laptop, it’s in your mobile phone, it’s in electric cars. This is the material that we are absolutely relying on to shift away from fossil fuels and address climate issues.”

A survey conducted by Opinium for the non-profit recycling organisation Material Focus found 18% of 4000 people surveyed had bought a vape in the previous year. 7% of those had bought a disposable. These figures applied to the whole of the UK could mean around 168 million disposables are bought annually in the UK.

Over half of users reported just discarding these in a bin rather than recycling correctly.

What Can Be Done To Solve This?

The Sky News article investigated what the manufacturers of the popular disposable brands Geek Bar and Elf Bar are doing to reduce this issue.

The UK has the WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) regulations which says that producers bear responsibility to make sure their products are recycled and disposed of safely.

Apparently according to Sky News both manufacturers do not appear on the WEEE register and neither replied when asked for a comment on the situation.

recycle vape batteries and disposables

I have looked on both the manufacturers’ websites and sadly there is no guide to recycling their devices.

Our wonderful Neil Humber wrote in 2021 about the issue and also contacted suppliers, trade associations and vendors for their response.

If you want advice on how to recycle these products please visit the recycleyourelectricals.org.uk website.

how to recycle vapes
Image courtesy of recycleyourelectricals.org.uk
My name is Michelle - I am 46 and an engineer and Technical Author by trade. I started vaping many years ago in the days of Tornado tanks, Ego batteries and Variable Voltage. My journey in vaping began again a few years ago and have started to move up in the shiny shiny gadget department and love vaping! I have finally stopped smoking as of June 2019 and that is all thanks to vaping! 20mg Nicotine Salts are my hero! Oh and I am partial to a nice pod mod!

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