Environmental disaster avoided: Campaigners celebrate single-use vape ban

Environmentalists are celebrating a ban on single-use vapes, with Hubbub chief executive Alex Robinson calling the devices an “environmental disaster”.

Robinson’s comments come as the government announced a ban on vapes to tackle the rise in youth vaping and protect children’s health.

Many organisations have been calling for a ban as figures suggest that 5 million single-use vapes are being sent to landfill each week.

Greenpeace UK plastics campaigner Anna Diski said that while the ban is “common sense” vapes are just a “drop in the ocean compared to the tsunami of plastic waste still being produced”.

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Carbon emissions specialist, Zevero co-founder George Wade, also added that “it’s about time” for a ban on single-use vapes.

“Vapes are very rarely recycled; they cause fires in bin lorries, and the stickers you take off before using them cover nearly every bin outside of an off-license across the UK,” Wade wrote on LinkedIn.

Material Focus executive director Scott Butler added: “The immediate focus now should be on what happens with vapes that are already in the market, and those that will be sold before a ban comes into place.

“The obligations to provide and pay for takeback and recycling remain.

“Then after a ban, the question is how will the UK tackle the environmental impact of the, sadly inevitable, illegal vapes that will be sold and then binned and littered?,” Butler asked.

Last year health and beauty retailer Superdrug stopped selling single-use vapes across all its UK and Ireland stores.

Superdrug healthcare director Ghada Beal said at the time that while it was still the retailer’s responsibility to provide the best choice for consumers looking for alternatives to cigarettes.

“We need to be responsible about the growing trend in disposable vapes among young people, and the lasting effect on the environment,” she said.

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