Key panel calls for deposit return scheme for vapes

disposable vapes

Councillors in the North-West have called for a deposit return scheme for disposable vapes to reduce waste fires and boost lithium recycling.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Waste and Recycling Committee said credit should be available to customers who return their devices to retailers.


The influential panel has written to environment secretary Therese Coffey proposing a ban on disposable vapes after dealing with dozens of blazes caused by lithium batteries.

It added that a deposit return scheme, similar to that proposed by ministers for single-use drinks bottles, could create a useful separated stream of discarded vaping devices.

Committee chair Alan Quinn said the increased use of such devices was “having a major impact on waste management operations”.

“These vapes are a hazard for collection crews, waste management facilities and operatives due to the lithium batteries inside causing fires when pierced, damaged, or crushed,” he added.

“Aside from the environmental impact of waste-related fires, such incidents also cause significant disruption to waste services with knock on impacts for residents if collection rounds are not completed.”

Dan Carolan, contract director at waste firm Suez UK, added: “Putting vapes or other battery-powered items in the bin poses a real fire risk. Disposable vapes and other electrical items should be either be returned to the retailer for recycling, or taken to your local recycling centre.”