In recent years, the disposable vape industry has seen exponential growth, but this surge in popularity has also raised significant environmental concerns. The United Kingdom, like many other nations, is grappling with the issue of what to do with the millions of disposable vapes discarded each week.

Research suggests that discarded disposable vapes result in 10 tonnes of lithium ending up in waste yearly; this is enough to power 1200 electric car batteries.

Did you know lithium-ion batteries found in the disposable vapes cause 65% of fires in waste management facilities?

These batteries can pose a serious fire risk if not disposed of properly. When these batteries are thrown into general waste, they can come into contact with other materials and cause a short circuit. This can lead to catastrophic consequences, such as fires in recycling centres and treatment facilities where the batteries are often processed.

Disposable vapes have been a popular choice for many people due to their convenience and ease of use. They are incredibly difficult and expensive to recycle; this is due to the fact they are designed as one unit. These vapes are made as one unit, and they contain various materials such as plastic, copper, and a lithium battery. The battery itself is incredibly difficult to separate from the shell and rest of the materials, making them difficult to recycle. This presents a significant challenge for waste management systems and contributes to the growing problem of electronic waste. As a result, it is essential to consider the environmental impact of disposable vapes and explore alternative options that are more sustainable.

It’s important to consider the impact of lithium batteries on the environment. While these batteries are technically rechargeable, they are commonly designed for single use and discarded after a short period of time. This means that valuable resources are being used to create a disposable product. Lithium is a precious metal that is already in short supply, so using a reusable battery in a single-use product has a more significant impact on our resources.

Ban on Vapes

The ban on disposable vapes in the UK couldn’t have come at a better time. With five million disposable vapes being thrown away each week, the need for sustainable waste management solutions has never been more urgent. Environment Secretary Steve Barclay rightly pointed out that disposable vapes not only target children but also contribute to a growing stream of hard-to-recycle waste.

Enter A.R. Richards, a company at the forefront of recycling solutions for electronic waste, including disposable vapes. By offering tailored recycling programs, A.R. Richards helps divert these devices from landfills, reducing the risk of fires and minimising environmental harm. With an estimated 260 million disposable vapes thrown away in the UK each year, initiatives like those provided by A.R. Richards are crucial in combating this issue.

Libby Peake, Head of Resource Policy at Green Alliance, echoed the sentiment that the ban on disposable vapes is long overdue. She emphasised this decision’s environmental benefits, including preserving critical raw materials like lithium for renewable energy purposes.

Collection of Vapes

Gavin Graveson, Veolia Senior Executive Vice President, Northern Europe, stressed the importance of extended producer responsibility schemes to incentivise eco-friendly product design. A.R. Richards Waste Management aligns with this vision by actively recycling over one million vapes and supporting policies that promote sustainable end-of-life treatment for products.

The ban on disposable vapes in the UK is a positive step towards a greener future. Although the ban was primarily aimed at addressing the issues of children purchasing disposable vapes – Gov.UK, it also helps to combat the environmental problems that arise from their usage. However, effective waste management solutions are equally essential in mitigating the environmental impact of these products. A.R. Richards stands ready to tackle this challenge head-on, offering recycling solutions that address the disposal of disposable vapes and contribute to a healthier and more sustainable planet.