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    Local stores’ body launches guide on new vape recycling rules

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    Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has launched new guidance for retailers on how to provide a vape recycling service in store.

    Under the new rules, which came into force at the start of 2024, all retailers who sell vapes (regardless of type of store) must provide a recycling facility for consumers to bring back used or unwanted vapes.

    Previously, retailers who sold less than £100,000 of vapes and other EEE (electrical and electronic equipment) were able to be part of the Distributor Takeback Scheme (DTS), which involved displaying information for consumers about places where they could recycle their electricals. While DTS is still in operation for other electricals, vapes have been taken out of the scheme and now require all stores providing the product to also provide a way for customers to recycle them.

    At a minimum, retailers have to provide a recycling facility on a one-for-one basis, meaning that a retailer only has to accept a vape for recycling if the customer is purchasing a new one. Many retailers will opt to provide a bin or container in-store for anyone to return their vapes, which is also permitted.

    ACS is encouraging all retailers who sell vapes to read the new guidance, which details the process for taking back vapes, storing them safety, and arranging a collection service on a regular basis. As part of the rules, retailers must also make information available to customers about the vape recycling service they offer. This can come in the form of a poster with the required information included – ACS has put together a template poster for retailers which is available alongside the guidance.

    ACS chief executive James Lowman said, “Providing recycling facilities for vapes is an important step in tackling the environmental impact of these products, so it’s essential that retailers who sell vapes are aware of their new responsibilities when it comes to takeback and collection from store.”

    Enforcement for non-compliance with the regulations will be carried out by the Office for Product Safety and Standards, and will begin from April 2024. All retailers should have a policy in place by the end of March at the latest. 

    The guide, alongside the template poster and wider guidance on the sale of legitimate vaping products is available here: https://cdn.acs.org.uk/public/ACS%20Vape%20Recycling%20Guidance.pdf

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