Vaping is proven to be a less harmful alternative to smoking and has the potential to improve the lives of millions. This is recognised by researchers and governments across the world. But as more smokers move away from cigarettes – which except for the filter are predominantly made of organic materials – to electronic, battery powered devices, questions about the environmental impacts arise.
Vapes have been around for over a decade now but popularity has shot up in the past year with the introduction of disposable devices. Favoured because of their practicality – you buy it, vape, and throw it away, instead of having to worry about refilling cartridges and cleaning filters. Studies have shown that two disposable vapes are discarded every second in the UK, and the amount of lithium discarded in disposable vapes every year is enough to build around 1200 car batteries. The product undoubtedly carries many environmental concerns: lithium batteries, single-use plastics, recyclability.
As a responsible vaping business we make every effort to ensure that our products – which deliver net positive benefits to individuals and public health – are not harming the environment.
Getting rid of disposables isn’t the answer and could hinder harm reduction journey, and worse, lead to a rise in unregulated products. So, what can we do?
Although not simple, our sustainability plan outlines how we can work with our brands and partners to encourage innovation and smarter use of materials to facilitate recycling. Luckily, we have many examples to be inspired from, such as Nespresso’s pod collection scheme. Real change will come from collaboration and will take time.
Partnering with other industry players, we can encourage greater R&D for the development of materials and the design of products that are easier to take apart and recycle; work with customers to educate them on how to properly dispose of vapes whilst helping facilitate a move to reusable products; and work with regulators to set high standards for the entire industry to follow.Back to our insights