UK Announces Ban on Disposable Vapes to Safeguard Children’s Health 

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The Government has announced that there will be a UK-wide ban of disposable vapes.  

While aimed at ensuring children do not use vapes, the Government also noted the environmental benefits of the ban including reducing fires at recycling and waste sites. 

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The move was also welcomed by organisations across the waste management and recycling sector. 

This is because single use vapes are a hazard for collection crews and waste management facilities due to the lithium batteries inside causing fires when pierced, damaged, or crushed. They are also notoriously difficult and expensive to handle within recycling centres. 

Environment Secretary Steve Barclay said: “Not only are disposable vapes often targeted, unacceptably, at children – they also represent a huge and growing stream of hard-to-recycle waste, with nearly 5 million thrown away every week.  

“This historic announcement will be a powerful tool in support of our efforts to crack down on waste and boost recycling. 

Green Alliance  head of resource policy Libby Peake added: “This ban can’t come soon enough, not only for the health of future generations, but also for the health of the planet.  

“Valuable lithium-ion batteries will stop going to waste or winding up as litter, along with all the casings that have been blighting our environment for too long.  

“The risk of fire from mishandled batteries will be minimised and dangerous plastic pollution will be prevented. This bold move by the Government is nothing but good news.” 

Veolia senior executive vice president of Northern Europe Gavin Graveson said: “When faced with an environmental crisis, every product that enters the market should be designed for recyclability.  

“Disposable vapes are a clear example of when products have been designed with no thought for their environmental impact and should be subject to an extended producer responsibility scheme that incentivises the right eco-design.   

“Millions of disposable vapes have been littered causing environmental damage or thrown in bins where they cause weekly fires in recycling and waste trucks as well as treatment facilities.   

“We can’t afford to allow more pollution. Veolia’s recycling scheme has already recycled over one million vapes and we support policies that will curb products with no end-of-life treatment.”