Vapes, or e-cigarettes, were originally created to help people trying to quit smoking – and they still serve that important purpose. But single-use disposable vapes are becoming more and more popular and have become one of the defining images of our throwaway culture.
Whether you vape yourself or not, we can all identify with environmental issues with vaping:
- They are made of plastic (which is made from planet-destroying oil).
- They generate huge amounts of waste. The number of disposable vapes that are binned each year would fill 22 football pitches!
- Because of the way they are made, disposable vapes are nearly impossible to recycle.
- Disposable vapes waste precious resources (which could be used for a green energy transition).
- Materials and chemicals used in vapa are dangerous and pollute the environment.
Thanks, there is a solution! Let’s take a look at why disposable vapes are such an environmental problem and what we can do about it:
Why are disposable vapes bad for the environment?
Sign the petition
Tell the UK government to ban disposable vapes.
The biggest problem with disposable vapes is that they are disposable. A market full of disposable products is not sustainable.
For every vape sold, there is plastic production, mining for the materials, shipping and packaging to sell it, and then we have to deal with the waste at the end of its life.
In the UK we bin 1.3 million vapes every week – that’s almost two vapes every second. That’s a big waste that has to go somewhere. Some enter the environment as waste, some go for recycling, and the rest end up in landfills.
Can vapes be recycled?
Disposable vapes are difficult to recycle because they are made from a mix of materials, including plastic, copper, and lithium batteries. They are designed as a unit, meaning the batteries cannot be easily separated from the plastic shell and other materials. This makes recycling disposable vapes difficult and expensive.
Another problem with all single-use products is that we create more waste than we can deal with. Even if disposable vapes are easy to recycle, our waste disposal systems cannot handle the huge amount of disposable vapes thrown away every day.