Despite numerous positive sides, vape devices have a potentially catastrophic environmental impact. People throw away millions of disposable vapes weekly, while recycling is complicated because of the complexity of these products.
Therefore, eco-conscious vapers are often unsure how to dispose of disposable vapes in the safest possible way. Vape recycling is feasible but requires some patience and effort. Don’t be lazy! The planet Earth deserves your attention and care!
Ways to Dispose Disposable Vapes Responsibly
Responsible disposable vape device disposal is not about getting rid of them. The point is to send them to adequate recycling centers for reuse. That is the best way to minimize the horrible environmental impact of E-waste.
Prepare the Vape for Recycling
Once you thoroughly check local regulations about recycling and find an E-waste center nearby, it is time to send collected disposables there. If you have a compact vape device without separate parts, you should send them without breaking them.
In this case, you should send complete devices and let workers separate them. E-waste facilities have specific procedures to sort, clean, and recycle vape components.
If you use a model with separated pieces, it is better to prepare each device appropriately for recycling. The first step is to collect all used vapes in one bag or box.
Then, check whether each piece is entirely drained and without E-liquid leftovers. Most disposable vapes provide 300 to 600 puffs before juice runs out or the battery dies.
Besides, you should remove lithium-ion batteries from non-built-in models because of the dangerous acid inside. That is crucial to prevent their bad impact on the environment. Be aware that disposable vapes are also a valuable source of steel, copper, and aluminum besides lithium.
Other recyclable vape parts include:
- Cardboard box for packaging (paper recycling)
- The exterior plastic casing (plastic recycling)
- Coil (metal recycling)
- Glass components and tanks (glass recycling)
Many regions organize take-back programs or E-waste collection events. They are an excellent way to get rid of disposable devices. Remember, disposal to the landfill is the last and worst resort possible.
Importance of recycling disposable vapes
Safe vape device disposal, particularly used single-use kits, is crucial because of their diverse effects on the environment. Every device you recycle means a lot, and the reuse of spare parts has multiple benefits.
1. Reducing E-waste
Disposable vapes include lithium batteries and their circuitry. They often catch fire or explode after getting crushed or pierced by the bin lorries’ hydraulic trash compactors.
Believe it or not, almost half of all waste fires in the UK result from damaged lithium-ion batteries. Once their content leaks, it irreversibly contaminates soil and water and jeopardizes people, animals, and plants.
Besides, incorrect disposal means a loss of precious lithium and metals from coils. That requires opening new lithium mines and their devastating impact on all living beings for miles around.
Be aware that only British vapers throw away two disposable vapes every second, or 1.3 million a week. That amount in America is twice as high, 4.5 devices per second.
In other words, ten tones of lithium from these devices come to landfills and are lost forever instead of being used to make about 1,200 engines for electric cars. That is why lithium battery recycling is absolutely imperative.
2. Energy savings
Recycling facilities use less energy to reuse discarded waste than manufacturers to make new products. That means disposable vape recycling significantly saves energy and reduces greenhouse emissions.
3. Supporting environmental conservation
By eliminating traditional cigarettes and introducing electronic alternatives, the world has created a paradox. While cigarette leftovers take about a decade to degrade, non-biodegradable disposable vapes create waste that no one can destroy.
For instance, it is impossible to recycle used cotton wicks that are contaminated beyond recovery. Therefore, vapers should do their best to solve the problem with the rest of these devices.
Eliminating non-biodegradable materials from disposable vapes, such as metals and plastics, reduces their piling in landfills. The benefit of such a procedure is immeasurable.
Where to Recycle Disposable Vapes? (vape recycling near me)
The option for recycling disposable vapes can vary, depending on the country and region where you live. The truth is that there are more options in urban areas, but you can always find a way to dispose of used devices responsibly.
1. Local recycling center
Your goal is to find a local E-waste management facility with special equipment to handle it. That includes all types of disposables.
It is up to you to collect all devices in a bag or box, occasionally take them to the center, and place them into electrical waste bins. The facility then classifies the parts based on the material type and continues with recycling.
2. Local recycling bank
Some regions have so-called Bring Banks designed for collecting small household electronics. They are also suitable for disposing of devices like disposable vapes.
You can find them at supermarkets, petrol stations, roadside areas, or car parks. Local communities organize emptying banks when they are full and send this waste to the recycling center.
3. Local vape stores
More and more vape shops offer the option to dispose of used vapes. Finding one can be a practical option for you, particularly when you don’t have enough space in your home to keep your used devices.
These stores have an arrangement with local recycling centers. Such an agreement allows them to keep bins in-store, making recycling convenient for their customers.
In other words, you can dispose of your used vape when buying a new one. Even though not all such stores offer this type of service, thousands of places have already accepted this eco-friendly scheme.
4. Supermarket battery bins
Every buyer can dispose of batteries in a bin labeled ‘battery recycling’ at the local supermarket entrance or near the checkouts. That makes recycling quick and effortless.
This option includes disposable vapes. The best of all is that you can toss the entire device inside without removing the battery from the plastic casing. The only thing to do is to find a place that sells batteries. There is a big chance it has a place for E-waste.
5. E-recycling centers
Electrical recycling centers collect disposable vape devices along with small household E-appliances. You can quickly find a nearby place intended for this purpose online.
You can also find a vape recycling locator that makes the procedure even more effortless. Type your postcode and look for options for vape recycling facilities. It immediately locates local recycling centers, from WEEE facilities to the most minor places, with only one battery bin.
6. E-waste collection events
Local authorities, environmental organizations, and recycling centers sometimes promote recycling by organizing appropriate events. That way, they raise awareness of the necessity of recycling disposable vape.
You can participate in these E-waste collection events, taking the opportunity to recycle your devices along the way. Be aware that your active participation can encourage your friends, family, neighbors, and other citizens to become responsible and start recycling over time.
7. The manufacturers’ recycling program
Almost all reputable manufacturers have organized recycling programs for their vape devices. They have become partners with recycling centers, making vape device recycling in bulk more accessible and effortless than ever.
Since countries have started establishing stricter rules about disposal devices, you can expect this possibility to become mandatory for all vape manufacturers. For now, only some have this possibility and even offer free shipping and discounts for new-ordered products.
8. WEEE recycling facility
In the UK, recycling E-waste has been compulsory since 2006. Since that year, the WEEE directive has made recycling household E-waste more efficient and effortless.
Instead of sending this waste straight to landfills, this directive allows the British to dispose of it at the manufacturer’s facility. Vape producers are responsible for ensuring accessible recycling for vape devices.
You can be sure that a responsible company produces the vape you use by checking for the distinctive crossed-out wheelie bin symbol on the device. That means your vape device is classed as WEEE, and you can dispose of it at the closest local WEEE facility.
More Environmentally Friendly Ways to Vape
Disposable vapes are convenient for everyday use, but it is time to consider more cost-effective and eco-friendly alternatives. There are a few available you can opt for.
Switch to rechargeable and refillable kits – Devices with rechargeable batteries last longer, limiting the lithium battery waste. Those that allow refilling E-liquid reduce the use of disposable devices.
Buy bigger bottles of E-liquid – This option reduces the number of used packages.
Use nicotine salts – They deliver a stronger nicotine hit, resulting in one 10 ml bottle lasting longer than disposable vapes.
Consider DIY projects – If you are creative, you can use empty disposable vape components to create unique and useful items, reducing waste at the same time.
Support sustainable brands – You can reduce E-waste by purchasing sustainable vape devices packaged in eco-friendly materials.
After two decades of use, disposable vapes have become a severe problem when it comes to preserving the environment. These devices are convenient and easy to use but quite complicated to recycle. Since more than 70% of disposable vapes end up in landfill sites, you should find a way to dispose of them correctly and reduce eco-catastrophe.