Disposable Vapes have been at the forefront of the media stories when it comes to vaping of recent times for numerous reasons, and sadly mostly of them being negative ones. The issues they are causing with youth vaping numbers increasing being the main problem, but also the sustainability of them being a grey area, with absurd volumes of them being put into landfill every single week as well as them littering the streets in abundance by people just discarding them wherever they are when they run out.
But a solution to these problems may have just been found and created by a well known company who specialises in Waste Management in the UK. UKVIA recently announced they have welcomed Waste Experts as a new member of the UKVIA and unveiled their new “Vape Vessel” which has been purposefully designed to encourage people to correctly dispose of their used Disposables in these Vape Vessels and they will take care of the rest to ensure they are recycled properly rather than going into landfill.
In this article, I’m going to take a look at the problems Disposables cause to the environment, give a bit of background history on Waste Experts and what their Vape Vessel could potentially mean for the sustainability of our environment!
Why can’t Disposable Vapes be recycled?
This is the question on everyone’s lips when the subject of Disposables and disposing of them is bought up, and the answer is a relatively simple and straight forward one. Disposable Vapes cannot be recycled as they, so as one complete unit, due to the fact that they all contain a small lithium-ion battery which is used to power the device.
The battery inside is highly combustible if put any pressure, and there has been several videos showing small explosions and combustions happening at recycling centres within the machinery used to sort the waste, as the Disposables and battery are put under pressure and the explosion then occurs. This is extremely hazardous to workers and anyone else nearby and could cause injury.
It’s also not recommended that people try to take Disposable Vapes apart themselves either, because it does involve a battery and a live wire connection, and the risk of electrocution or other hazards are quite high if the person doesn’t know exactly what they are doing.
This is why they have to be disposed of in the general waste, because even though they are made of plastic, the battery stops them being classed as “recyclable” and they have to go into landfill.
The amount going into landfill is estimated to be over 1.3 million units every single week, and this equates to 10 tonnes of lithium going to waste every single year and to put this into perspective, it’s the same amount of lithium as what is in 1200 electric vehicles! Absolutely mind blowing when the numbers are presented like that don’t you think?
Who are Waste Experts?
Waste Experts are a company based in West Yorkshire, UK and they are exactly what they say they are…experts on disposing of waste in the correct and safe manner in a bid to protect and preserve the environment through their efforts.
Looking at their website, it shows some facts and figures that involved them, and they say they are responsible for diverting over 2400 tonnes of waste away from landfill every year, as well as recycling over 1 million fluorescent light tubes every year and 120 tonnes of cardboard a year, that’s a serious amount across the board and that is just some of the stats that I’ve picked out. They also have a huge client base, working with the likes of the NHS and many other well-known corporations in the UK.
Back in July of 2022, Waste Experts posted an article on their website surrounding Disposable Vapes and the hinderance they are causing to the environment and landfills, and this is where they first unveiled their plans to start combatting this problem.
Waste Experts advertised their nationwide collection and treatment service for all types of electronic cigarette devices that need to be disposed of correctly. They boasted about their facility located in Huddersfield being full permitted and licensed to accept WEEE products as well as hazardous waste. There’s been recent confusion over what Disposable Vapes should be classed as in regards to WEEE and/or hazardous waste, which you can read about in a separate article I’ve written recently.
This is just brilliant to see a waste company offering their services and facilities to help bring down the damage being done to the environment from discarded Disposables, as well as correctly recycling them and potentially saving a lot of lithium from going to waste, something that is in short supply apparently.
And now recently, they’ve stepped up their game once again by introducing something never seen before to further the opportunities for people to dispose of their E-Cigs to ensure they are correctly recycled.
Introducing the Vape Vessel
Earlier this week, UKVIA announced the newest member of the Association who were Waste Experts. And with this announcement came the unveiling of Waste Experts newest addition to their recycling arsenal; The Vape Vessel.
The Vape Vessel is an upright container designed purposefully to house a large volume of used Vapes of all shapes and sizes for Wate Experts to safely take apart and dispose of correctly. It’s estimated it can hold around 12kg of mixed vapes, which is around 750 units in total. These are designed for Vape shops, as well as any other outlets that may sell E-Cigarettes to have in their shops to encourage customers to put their finished with devices in, rather than going into the bin or discarded on the street.
Waste Experts also offer a fast and efficient collection service of the containers when they are full and will replace them with a new empty container ready to start the cycle all over again. And they also give assurance that their transport vehicles are safe to transport the full containers to the HQ where they are then correctly disposed of.
Vape Bar Salts are a more sustainable way to vape!
Here at Vape69, we recently launched a new range of Nic salt vape juices called Vape Bar Salts. They were designed by taking inspiration from the hugely popular flavours seen in Disposable Vapes, and putting our own spin on them and thus creating a 10ml of mouth watering Vape Juice which is more sustainable than buying Disposable Vapes as well as much more cost effective!
We offer 16 different flavours in the range, and you can check out what we have on offer by clicking the link!
This is absolutely fantastic work by Waste Experts, and it’s something essentially so simplistic but ultra effective with the creation of the Vape Vessels. I think these are going to be absolutely crucial for most if not all shops that sell Vaping products to have in their store so people can have easy access to them and hopefully it will encourage them to dispose of their finished with devices in the correct manor rather than strewn on the street.