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Inhale waste disposal knowledge

16 January 2024

2 mins

Guest blog by Louis Guest from Enva.

Don’t get caught within a cloud of confusion and learn how to recycle your vapes!

As vaping becomes increasingly common throughout society, it’s crucial for everyone  to understand responsible disposal practices to mitigate environmental and public health risks. Vaping devices almost always contain batteries which pose a threat to human health and the environment when discarded in regular waste streams such as recycling and general waste.

One of the key reasons for this is that when waste is processed from initial collection right through to sorting at a waste management facility, there is an increased risk that these batteries could become damaged. When punctured, batteries react with oxygen leading to combustion, and both in waste facilities and collection vehicles these batteries are often surrounded by flammable materials. This, on many occasions, has led to fires in the back of waste lorries and at waste processing facilities.

In scenarios where vapes don’t make it to waste management facilities, they are becoming an increasingly common source of litter. This also has the potential to cause significant environmental impact such as soil and water contamination, along with potential harm to ecosystems.

To address this, it is good to be aware of different methods to properly dispose single use vapes. The first step would be to check your university’s waste A-Z. Loughborough’s can be found here. Many universities now have dedicated vape bins on campus to ensure correct disposal. However, should your university not yet have a vape disposal service in place, not to worry!

Local recycling centres accept these devices under the batteries directive. So, it is advisable to store these devices separately and deliver them in bulk to recycling centres, saving you a journey! To find the store closest you why not visit the “Recycle your electricals” website here, and enter your postcode.

Finally, it is likely that many mainstream vape stores such as “Totally wicked” have vape disposal methods within their stores. Why not check the next time you visit? 

This article is in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. To read more click here.

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