The Grocer Predicts a Ban

Posted 1st August 2023 by Dave Cross
Trade magazine The Grocer delivers news and views about the wholesale, supermarket and convenience sector. As an authority on the subject, the publication is predicting a complete ban on disposable vapes in the United Kingdom. The twist is that it isn’t blaming politicians or anti-vape campaigners – but the retail sector for failing to act.

Recently, we’ve witnessed a growing volume of vape ban calls.

There was the Local Government Association’s demand, which provoked a slew of criticism from experts and health bodies. Also, Parliament’s Health and Safety committee saw a number of MPs making fallacious statements, again drawing expert response. This week saw more on the subject as the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) expressed concerns about impartiality and personal bias in a letter to Scottish politicians.

Some of the arguments being used to support a ban carry an air of legitimacy. The majority of disposable vapes in the market contain a large amount of single-use plastic, the lithium-ion batteries are toxic to the environment when buried and a waste of valuable resources, and some recycling programmes are not uniform or all-encompassing.

The problem for vaping is that sustainability issues are being combined with wider attacks on the industry, flavours, packaging and marketing.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health supported its ban call by stating: “It is important that nicotine containing products should be highly restricted and should face the same restrictions as tobacco containing products – there should be no advertising, no sponsorship and plain packaging.”

Cue Vapor

Amanda Pritchard, the CEO of the NHS spoke about the “attractiveness of e-cigarettes to our young people”.

If disposables go, it is likely they will simply turn their sights on open system vapes.

The Grocer points to the volume of disposables being dumped and says: “The sector simply isn’t doing enough to bring that figure down.”

ElfBar has apparently introduced recycling bins into “several” stores - for Elf Bars only. This came as news to POTV as the vape company has made no mention of it.

Moreover, The Grocer isn’t impressed: “Does the sector really think a few bins in a few stores will solve its crisis? It’s still a big ask of vapers. Even those eager to recycle might find they can’t at their point of purchase.”

The Electronic Cigarette Company

The magazine continued: “The attitude of one vape retailer The Grocer spoke to appears all too prevalent. ‘Ultimately, it’s up to disposable vape users to educate themselves on correct disposal, to protect the environment and avoid unnecessary use of landfill sites,’ they said. Meanwhile, vape trade bodies seem content that more bins and more posters about those bins will do the trick.”

The Grocers concludes by saying what we have been putting across for a number of years, “the sector seems content to play lip service to environmental concerns. And that’s not enough of a response to what is fast becoming an existential threat.”

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash, cropped

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, salad destroyer and live culture convert.