Five million vapes thrown away every week – research
Material Focus – a recycling campaign group, said recent research shows five million disposable vapes are thrown away each week in the UK, a fourfold increase over the past year.
Only 17% of people who vape recycle their vapes in the correct recycling bins, the research found.
The vaping industry says it is working to improve recycling rates.
Disposable vapes are cheap plastic devices that give the vaper a few hundred puffs of nicotine vapour before they are thrown away – in bins or roadsides.
Vapes can cause fires in bin lorries and waste treatment facilities if not disposed of correctly.
Material Focus calculated that UK adults buy about 30 million vapes a month, a huge increase that reflects the rapid growth in popularity of these products.
Disposable vapes contain copper wires and lithium batteries, which are both valuable materials. Material Focus estimates that all the disposable vapes thrown away in a year contain enough lithium to provide batteries for 5,000 electric cars.