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Banning disposable vapes: A journey toward health and environmental protection

Commercial Waste Services Westminster
Commercial Waste Services Westminster


Health hazards from disposable vapes

With colourful packaging and enticing flavours, disposable vapes are a key driver behind the increase in youth vaping: nine times as many 11 to 17 year olds use disposable vapes compared with two years ago, and 9% of 11 to 15 year olds now vape.

Although the long-term health implications of vaping are not known, the nicotine content is undeniably addictive. To address this challenge and protect children’s health, the UK government will be enforcing a ban on disposable vapes across England, Scotland and Wales. 

So far, almost 70% of parents, teachers, health professionals and the general public have shown their support for the ban.

The ban will be supplemented by the stubbing out the problem policy where selling tobacco products to anyone born on or after 1st January 2009 is illegal. With smoking as the largest preventable killer, these changes aim to build smoke-free generations.

But, how else do vapes impact our lives?


This ban can’t come soon enough, not only for the health of future generations, but also for the health of the planet.

Libby Peake, Head of Resource Policy at Green Alliance


Environmental effect from disposable vapes


Did you know that five million disposable vapes are thrown away every week? This is up from 1.3 million last year.

When disposable vapes are thrown in recycling or rubbish collections, they can cause fires in the collection trucks as well as treatment facilities, which can ultimately harm workers and stop operations.

But why is this? It's because disposable vapes are powered by lithium batteries – a valuable raw material that can be used for renewable energy. If disposed of incorrectly, these batteries can overheat and cause fires. Currently, we lose 10 tonnes of lithium every year from disposable vapes - enough to power 5,000 electric vehicles. Introducing the ban will help ensure our lithium resource does not go to waste.

More often than not, vapes can also end up as litter and contribute to plastic pollution. A survey conducted by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy found that disposable vape litter has doubled in the last 2 years, putting our streets, countryside and beaches at risk. They can also enter our water systems and have damaging effects on our wildlife who often mistake vapes for food.


Collaborating towards a circular economy


Disposable vapes are a key example of our throwaway, single-use product culture which is unsustainable. 

Businesses can play a huge part in moving towards a circular economy. Starting with a free waste audit to identify what you can recycle and how to reduce waste, we can build a holistic sustainability plan. We can help embed this into your business by using sustainable materials where possible and designing products that consider how to extend product life and how they can be reused or recycled to create other products. 

Working together, we can adopt a circular economy for your business and across industries to make a real difference in the world we live in.

Get in touch to find out how we can help you embed a circular economy in your business for a healthy, sustainable future.

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