The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) has launched its Sustainable Vaping Week campaign, which encourages consumers to recycle their vapes and the sector to be more environmentally responsible.
The initiative follows new research from Material Focus which found five million single-use vapes are thrown away every week in the UK and comes as the vape sector faces increasing scrutiny for its impact on the planet.
It also follows fast on the heels of International E-Waste Day, which took place on October 14, and coincides with the unveiling of the UKVIA’s new permanent vape recycling information hub – Recycle-Vapes.co.uk.
“There are continued calls for the government to ban single-use vapes, in part, on environmental grounds. However, the introduction of prohibitive policy is not the way to solve this pressing industry challenge – especially when disposables represent one of the most accessible, popular and affordable quitting tools for adults looking to move away from cigarettes,” John Dunne, director general of the UKVIA, commented.
“Instead, more needs to be done to educate vapers on the proper disposal of their devices and to establish a stronger infrastructure for collecting and processing vape waste. As new research from specialist firm Waste Experts found consumers don’t try to recycle their disposables because they ‘don’t know they should’ or ‘don’t have access to any easy recycling option’.
“The latest research from Material Focus echoed these findings, revealing that as many as 70% of people threw away their single-use vapes because they didn’t know they could recycle them.”
Both the Sustainable Vaping Week campaign and the new online resource hub provide vapers with an informative guide on how to safely dispose of their waste vape devices in an environmentally considerate way.
There is guidance from the Environment Agency and Office for Product Safety and Standards for producers, importers, distributors and retailers of vaping products regarding their environmental obligations.
Retailers and manufacturers can also download a range of materials to encourage vapers to recycle their vapes in the form of in-store posters, social media posts and online banners.
Dunne continued: “The environmental initiatives we have launched have been created to close this critical knowledge gap by better educating vapers on how to correctly dispose of their used devices, providing guidance to the industry on their environmental responsibilities and spreading the message that vapes can and should be recycled.”