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Vaping Industry Criticise Local Authorities for ‘Lack of Investment’ in Vape Recycling

By Grace Lynk 24th April 2024 3 Mins


The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) have come forward with new criticisms aimed at local authorities regarding what has been described as a staggering lack of investment in collection points for e-cigarettes.

The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC), which is currently run by twenty local authority waste management officers, have expressed their profound disappointment in the recent reproval.

LARAC have argued that it is actually local authorities who shoulder most of the responsibility when it comes to handling vape waste and have since called for the UK government to step up instead.

The committee has urged for a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) levy and have also proposed an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) framework to shift the financial burden onto retailers and manufacturers to encourage a circular economy.

They have also called for producers to bear the total net costs of collecting and recycling disposable devices before the government ban on single-use vapes comes into effect in April 2025.

Before the disposable ban was announced earlier this year, the UKVIA issued Freedom of Information requests to multiple provincial cities and central London councils across the country.

The Association found that only 60 percent of local authorities claim to offer waste disposal at designated collection facilities, and only one in ten have introduced waste containers in public spaces.

These statistics are made even more concerning upon the UKVIA saying that one-third of these councils fail to offer any waste disposal containers or drop-off points at civic amenity sites of any kind.

Furthermore, it has been revealed that only one of the ten nationwide councils included in the information requests have implemented kerbside or household vape collection schemes.

A massive 80 percent of included councils have no plans at all to invest in these vape collection solutions over the remaining course of the upcoming year.

In fact, according to the UKVIA, only Wandsworth Borough Council have plans to introduce a network of small WEEE (waste, electrical and electronic equipment) collection bins with funding support from non-profits.

The UKVIA have acknowledged “that the sector needs to demonstrate the highest levels of environmental responsibility”; but argue that this will be made easier if local authorities provide the necessary infrastructure.

John Dunne, Director General of the UKVIA, has said:

“Advocating a ban on disposable vapes on environmental grounds while not committing any investment to vape waste collection is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.”

“We can, and will, do much more to ensure environmental compliance across the sector, but that doesn’t mean local governments can simply offload their responsibility for providing vape waste collection facilities in public places.” 

“If local authorities can provide public waste disposal facilities for all types of waste, why not used vapes?”

Topics: Issue 50, Recommended, Sustainability


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Grace Lynk