Could Disposable Vapes be Banned in the UK?

Could Disposable Vapes be Banned in the UK?

Environmental and health groups have demanded that the government ban disposables.

16 January 2023 | Hannah Rubery

Could Disposable Vapes be Banned in the UK? (Image)

On the 24th of November 2022, an open letter was made to the environment and health secretaries in the UK, calling for the government to ban the sale of disposable vapes. Deemed a threat to public health and the environment, eighteen organisations have suggested that they are a “rapidly escalating threat”. What are the reasons behind this? It’s important to note that although the letter aims to combat disposable vapes, it is not intended to hinder those who use reusable vapes to quit smoking.

Worth its weight in lithium

One of the key parts of a disposable device is its lithium battery. In the open letter, it describes disposable vapes as “unnecessary electrical items” that result in around 10 tonnes of discarded lithium each year.

Lithium is a critical material for a wide variety of electronic goods such as electric cars, mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras and more. It can also be used for non-rechargeable products like pacemakers, toys and clocks. Not only is lithium in high demand, it’s also one of the most important materials for ensuring net zero and reducing the use of fossil fuels.

However, the use of lithium batteries in disposable devices is purposeful. Lithium batteries hold more electrical charge than traditional lead acid batteries. This means devices using them last much longer, ideal for vaping when you want to make the most out of your E-Liquid.

Waste that doesn’t waste away

Disposable vapes, with some exceptions, are generally made up of a plastic casing which contains the battery, coil and tank with E-Liquid. The different parts make disposable vapes difficult to properly recycle without complicated disassembling. For this reason, some vape stores and supermarkets have designated disposable vape recycle bins where they can be properly processed.

Due to the chemicals in E-Liquid and lithium batteries, these devices can become hazardous if they are not disposed of properly and end up in landfills where they can enter the water and soil.

The open letter goes on to urge the government to add disposable vapes to the “list of plastics that are prohibited as part of a shift away from single-use culture”.

Why disposable vapes are a key part of the vaping journey

One of the main selling points of disposables is their sheer convenience. Disposable vapes are ready-to-go straight from the box and require no maintenance. This makes them perfect for newcomers to vaping who have no prior experience with vaping but are looking to quit smoking.

Disposable vapes are also accessible. You can pick one up from many shops including popular supermarkets, ideal for when the cravings hit. Perfectly slimline, these devices are perfect for your pocket and are much cheaper alternatives to heavy mod kits that you might not want to take out and about with you.

In general, disposable vapes are perfect as a starting step for smokers looking to use vaping to help quit smoking, and as an alternative to their main kit for fighting cravings in the moment.

Swapping your disposable for something more

Although disposable vapes are a great way to get to grips with vaping for smokers looking to quit, investing in a reusable vape kit is a must. Vaping is cheaper than smoking, but the cost of disposable vapes can quickly add up. Buying E-Liquids is a much more cost-effective method of vaping.

One of the easiest ways to upgrade from disposables is through pod kits. This is due to their similarity with their ease of use and convenient style. Closed pod systems need only have their E-Liquid pods replaced and the battery recharged to enjoy your vape. Open pods require refilling but give users greater variety.

Overall, there’s no news yet on the government’s response to this open letter. There are certainly reasons for and against such a move. Could it be possible that disposable vapes will be banned in the UK? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.