We previously discussed the considerable damage that disposable vapes inflict on our environment. In this article, we outline how to avoid these consequences and advise the best course of action to discard vapes and all their components responsibly.
So, what’s the best way to safely recycle disposable vapes? While all disposable vapes are different in shape and design, they are generally made up of the same parts. This includes a non-rechargeable lithium-ion battery, a pod containing an atomiser (the part that heats up to turn the liquid into vapour), e-liquid and a cotton wick, as well as wiring and circuitry. All are encased in a plastic external casing. Fortunately, every part of a disposable vape can be recycled.
Whilst some sources instruct dismantling a device and separating the battery from the casing as a solution, this can be hazardous due to the combustible and explosive properties of lithium-ion batteries.
However, if you are able to safely remove, dispose of the battery at a recycling centre or place it in a dedicated Battery Recycling Bin for future recycling.
Best Practices for Safe Disposal
The best approach is to safely collect and store the vapes whole in dedicated Vape Recycling Bins. Once collected, you or your organisation can choose one of the following options for disposal. (Please consider local regulations and guidance when recycling vape products.)
With your Recycling CollectionYour council or city collection service may provide a regular service for collecting household electrical waste or can be contacted to arrange a special collection. To learn more, get in touch with your local authority.
At your Local Recycling CentreAll waste and recycling centres for domestic should offer containers specifically designated for electrical items and batteries.
With a RetailerHead to your nearest vape store. Many retailers are obliged to take back old electrical devices free of charge. Some may have in-store recycling bins so they can recycle used vapes in bulk.
With a ManufacturerSend your used vape back to the manufacturers. Some offer a dedicated recycling service by post. Contact the manufacturer to see if they have such a program and how you can participate.
By choosing one of these options, vapes are guaranteed to enter a recycling centre. Here, batteries are safely removed and the device is dismantled with automated and manual techniques. The components are classified according to their material characteristics, such as metals or plastics, and sanitized afterwards. Collectable substances are sent to relevant experts – such as plastics for further treatment and metals to smelters – for example.
How Can An Organisation Act?
Ensure that vape users have access to the correct knowledge and resources to handle and dispose of their vaping products responsibly.
For outside and inside disposal, Glasdon offers a range of transparent collection tubes and containers with brightly coloured apertures and graphics to encourage responsible disposal. These bins are ideal for businesses, offices, retail and universities. Their transparent design helps reduce cross-contamination, which will play a vital role in recycling such hazardous content.
What Else Can Be Done?
As with any form of recycling, informing and educating on the dangers of incorrect disposal is vital to ensure you or your organisation takes vape recycling seriously.
Switch to Reusable
Make the switch to refillable & rechargeable vapes. Granted, whilst they still use the same harmful materials and components, opting to ditch the disposable and move to a reusable method of vaping is highly beneficial for the environment and could possibly even save you money in the long run!