Disposable Vape Recycling

Vaping is becoming an increasingly larger consumed product across the UK. When it comes to single use vapes, it’s estimated that approximately 360 million vapes were thrown away last year, a massive increase from the 67 million in 2021. Due to disposable vapes containing a mixture of plastic, copper, liquid nicotine, and a lithium battery, they’re extremely difficult to recycle. Quickly becoming an unwanted environmental headache, that poses a significant threat of hazardous materials entering landfill sites, it’s becoming ever more important to make sure they’re handled correctly and disposed of safely. Recognising the challenge, our group have devised a solution which has allowed us to offer services for disposable vape recycling in the UK.

Based on recent research in polls in the UK, it suggests that sales of disposable vapes have doubled compared to last year, and in the last 10 years, the number of people using disposable vapes within the UK has increased from 800,000 to over 360 million. Single use vapes and e-cigarettes are being used more than ever, this is why we have been working on a solution that is both sustainable and cost effective for businesses.

We documented the challenges posed by disposable vapes and launched a vape recycling service in the United Kingdom. When partnering with us for vape recycling, we provide you with specialised containers for unwanted and used vapes for storage, once ready for collection our team arrive on-site, collect, and manage disposal sustainably through best practice.

So, how does it work?

  1. Old vapes are disposed of in dedicated containers, supplied by Novati.
  2. The vapes will be collected and transported to a recycling facility.
  3. The vapes are then sorted by hand and separated into different brands.
  4. Once sorted, operatives will then start batch processing.
  5. Firstly, the end cap of the vape is removed.
  6. The contents of the vape is then ejected, and the materials are separated.
  7. The plastics and metal are processed, and the batteries are sent to ABTO/ABE for recycling. The wick, filter and nicotine parts are sent for incineration as requested by The Environment Agency.

Disposable vapes also represent a health & safety risk if not disposed of properly. The lithium batteries they contain are highly flammable and have been responsible for fires in bin lorries and injuries to workers at waste processing centres.

Dave Gudgeon, Head of External Affairs, commented, “There is a phenomenal amount of debate around vapes, and specifically the rise in usage of single-use vapes. Whether they’re here to stay is still to be seen, but for now the reality is that more than 360 million were sold in the UK alone. As one of the UK’s leading sustainable solutions businesses, we know the importance to separate and recycle vapes. We have to keep material in the circular economy and protect our supply chain from the risk of fires started by mishandling the lithium batteries.”