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Vape Recycling First for NZ

NZ now has its own free nicotine vaping products recycling programme following a newly announced partnership between Vapo/Alt New Zealand and TerraCycle

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New Zealand now has its own free nicotine vaping products recycling programme. A newly announced partnership between leading vape company Vapo and Alt New Zealand, and innovative recycling giant TerraCycle, means that Vapo and Alt brands of e-cigarette waste can be dropped off at any Vapo store for recycling.

The drop off facility is the first phase of the programme, which will be expanded next year to enable individuals to send their vaping equipment direct to TerraCycle, with the mailing costs covered by Vapo and Alt.

Whether the materials come through the store drop off, or through the mail, TerraCycle will then disassemble and separate Alt and Vapo Haiz vaping devices into their different metal/electrical components, batteries and plastics. The plastics are then shredded and melted into pellets that can be remolded to make new recycled products such as garden beds and park benches, while the metals and batteries are separated and recovered.

This process will potentially save millions of pods, e-waste and batteries from ending up in New Zealand’s environment.

Additionally, for every kilogramme of vaping equipment sent to TerraCycle, Vapo and Alt will donate $1 towards Kiwi charity, Sustainable Coastlines – which works to keep New Zealand’s coastlines beautiful.

General Manager of TerraCycle Australia, Jean Bailliard, said TerraCycle is excited that the company’s first national nicotine vape recycling programme will be in New Zealand.

“E-cigarette litter is a growing problem in New Zealand and vapes are extremely hard to recycle due to the difficulty in separating out the materials. I congratulate Vapo and Alt for taking responsibility for the environmental impact of their products.”

“We will reuse, upcycle and recycle the waste instead of incinerating or landfilling it. This moves waste from a linear system to a circular one, allowing it to keep cycling in our economy,” he said.

The European Union has The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations, something that has been incorporated into UK law. All member states are committed to reduce the volume of WEEE deposited in landfill sites. Currently, all vape kit manufacturers, retailers and distributors should be actively promoting that they accept returns for recycling.

Companies like Ecigwizard [link], Vapour.com [link] and Motives [link] offer a return and recycle option. The Guardian recently addressed the recycling problem linked to vaping [link].

Jonathan Devery, who is a co-director of Vapo and Alt New Zealand with Ben Pryor, said the company was excited to launch this market-leading recycling programme with TerraCycle.

“Not only is vaping much safer than smoking, our products are now also much more environmentally friendlier. A national litter audit this year found that more than 10 billion cigarette butts pollute New Zealand’s ecosystem. We don’t want to be like the tobacco industry! Instead, we’re committed to a smoke-free country and a sustainable future,” said Mr Devery.

Mr Pryor said as the largest Kiwi-owned vape company, achieving positive environmental outcomes is a priority for Vapo and Alt, with other announcements to follow.      

“The billion-dollar Big Tobacco companies should be investing in our country’s future with waste reduction programmes, but sadly they’re not. Instead it’s a couple of Kiwis who are providing solutions to the damage that tobacco products have done to both individuals and the environment.”

“We’re proud to work with TerraCycle to deliver this globally-unique recycling initiative, and we’re delighted to donate to Sustainable Coastlines to support their great work,” said Mr Pryor.

TerraCycle is the world leader in the collection and repurposing of complex waste streams, ranging from used cigarette butts to oral and beauty care products. The waste is collected through manufacturer-funded programs that are free to the public, as well as Zero Waste Boxes that are purchased by end users. The collected waste is converted into a variety of raw materials and made into new products. To date, across 20 countries, TerraCycle has diverted more than seven billion pieces of ‘non-recyclable’ waste from landfill and incineration and raised close to $45 million for schools and charities worldwide.

Related:

  • Vaping’s other problem, The Guardian – [link]
  • What a waste, POTV, 2015 – [link]
  • Terracycle – [link]

Photo Credit:

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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