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Vaping Industry Hunts for Ways to Address its Environmental Responsibilities

By Hannah Rhodes 15th September 2023 3 Mins


The vaping industry is on the hunt for ways to address its environmental responsibilities following an increased focus on the disposal of single-use vapes.

Drawing attention away from the immense benefit vaping has as a cessation tool, countless organisations, along with members of the public, have growing concerns surrounding the impact of e-cigarette waste. 

‘Disposable’ vapes have rapidly increased in popularity over the last four years, with over 14 million bought every month in Great Britain according to environmental non-profit, Material Focus. 

However, many users of this convenient device find themselves throwing them away in the closest bin, without knowing that the correct disposal process is a little more complex than that. 

With the mission to combat the surge in discarded vapes, the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) are in discussions with several waste companies to create a recycling solution that is fit for the evolving vaping sector. 

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

“The industry recognises its responsibilities to the environment but the recycling of vapes is not straightforward.

“It needs collaboration between adult vapers, retailers, manufacturers, the regulators and companies in the waste management sector.” 

Organisations are already beginning to band together with remarkable solutions to reduce the industry’s waste footprint, starting with the key to the issue, right at the source: the vapes themselves. 

Recent developments include ANDS’ benchmark-creation of recyclable single-use vapes that consist of 99 percent, plus recyclable and recoverable materials meaning less than one percent of the product end up in landfill. 

The vape in question boasts a high-scoring test result carried out by specialist vape waste firm Waste Experts to verify its recyclability credentials. ‘SLIX’ disposables use high-grade cardboard to replace the plastic outer casing and pairs this with a biodegradable silicone mouthpiece and end piece. 

The light, simple construction makes it 25 percent lighter, resulting in 70 percent less waste by weight compared to other vapes on the market. 

Design choices means it takes 57 percent less time to deconstruct than the leading UK brands – the time saved is vital to supporting cost efficiencies in the waste management of single-use vapes. 

Dr Marina Murphy, Senior Director of Scientific and Medical Affairs at ANDS, said:

“This in turn helps to keep product prices competitive, creating a win-win for the environment and adult consumers.” 

With talks of implementing these factors into all their products and increasing SLIX’s recyclability from 99 to 100 percent by the end of the year, ANDS hopes to achieve a zero-waste future. 

In addition to improving efforts from the inside, the company is in the process of partnering with Waste Experts to create a recycling programme that will simplify the process of collection and recycling. 

Nevertheless, the hill in discovering and adopting new methods of reducing the industry’s waste of disposable vapes is a steep one. 

Those pioneering in the fight are positively reminding companies and the public why these devices are so important as a harm reduction tool. 

President of ANDS, Fadi Maayta, said:

“If these single-use vapes are restricted or banned over environmental fears as is being talked about in some circles… “Smokers could lose what many believe to be a very convenient, accessible and compelling alternative to conventional cigarettes.”

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About this author

Hannah Rhodes

Hannah is a journalist with a filmmaking and marketing background, which has paved the way for creating engaging, meaningful stories regardless of the topic. Despite not having smoked or vaped herself, Hannah firmly believes in the power vaping holds as a harm reduction tool as she grew up in a smoking household, resulting in a need to help those in similar positions in any way she can – be that through her writing for Vapouround’s various magazines or online audiences; or by connecting with locals on our bus tours. She prides herself on her ability to form and maintain close relationships with those both inside and outside the industry and believes that kindness is key in all walks of life.