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How to dispose of your old vape (responsibly)

One of the fastest growing sources of pollution, e-cigarettes are a scourge of Britain’s streets. With this in mind, we look to the industry itself for guidance on how to throw old devices away without damaging the environment. 

person holding silver tube type mod

Vapes can be damaging to the planet for numerous reasons, the main one being that hardly any of them are being successfully recycled. According to a recent study by Haypp, one of the UK’s leading device manufacturers, more than 50% of people reported that they did not know how to properly dispose of their e-cigarette device. The proper disposal of a vape device depends on the type and materials it contains.

  1. Do Not Throw in Regular Bin: Despite it being the most common way to dispose of vapes, vapes and their components should not be thrown in the regular waste bin as they can contain hazardous materials that can cause harm to the environment.     
             
  2. Empty the Device: Before you dispose, always ensure to remove any remaining e-liquid from the vape tank/pod (this does not apply for disposable vapes). Interestingly to note, vape kits contain lithium – which is said to be a vital component in electric car batteries – by everyone recycling their vapes, we could contribute to saving thousands of electric cars worth of lithium a year.
  3. Dispose of E-liquid Responsibly: If you have leftover e-liquid in your vape, it’s essential to dispose of it properly. If you input your postcode into the Government’s waste disposal finder, it will find you your nearest site where you can drop off liquids like e-juice. If you only have a small amount, you can mix it with an absorbent material (such as cat litter) in a sealed container before disposal.
  4. Battery Removal: If your vape has a removable battery, remove it before disposing. Batteries usually have specific recycling requirements and should not be thrown in with your regular waste. Many retailers or supermarkets that sell batteries usually have designated drop-off locations for them.
  5. Consult Local Regulations: HAYPP suggest checking your council website for information on what your local regulations are for electronic waste disposal in your area, as some regions have specific and strict guidelines for disposing of your electronic devices.
  6. Always Recycle if Possible: Your council website will have information on your nearest recycling centres as it’s important to check they accept electronic devices. Most areas now have specific e-waste recycling bins, known as Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE).
  7. Go Back to the Vape Shop: If you aren’t able to dispose in the ways listed above or you don’t feel clear on your local regulations, keep your disposed vapes in a drawer and when you next go to buy a vape, bring them with you as most vape shops have dedicated bins for used vapes.

Lastly, to make a positive impact on the planet, it’s key to always prioritise safety and environmental responsibility when disposing of your electronic devices and be sure to follow your local regulations.

More on waste and recycling: 

Essex County Council permanently rolls out recycling centre bookings

South Oxfordshire District Council has UK’s highest recycling rates

UK water companies claim ‘world-leading plans’ will end sewage spills

Image: Boukaih

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