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UKVIA Responds to Ban Pressure

Pressure is mounting to ban single use disposable devices, says the UK Vaping Industry Association

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Pressure is mounting to ban single use disposable devices, says the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA). It believes the industry is working to address its environmental responsibilities as focus on sustainability issues gathers momentum. Elsewhere, Planet of the Vapes is reporting that Scotland could ban disposables following pressure from a Green MSP.

The UKVIA and our members are in discussions with a number of waste companies to create a recycling solution that is fit for purpose for the vaping sector,” the organisation said. “If the first two weeks of 2023 are anything to go by, the debate over disposables and their impact on the environment is set to be a hot topic which will dominate the news schedules for some time to come.”

Already this year, we have witnessed disposable vapes being removed from the shelves of upmarket supermarket chain Waitrose.

Commercial Director Charlotte Di Cello said they were a retailer ‘driven by doing the right thing’ and added: “Selling single use vapes is not something we could justify given the impact on both the environment and the health of young people.

“We had already decided it wasn’t right to stock the fashionable bright coloured devices which are seeing rapid growth – so this decision is the final jigsaw piece in our clear decision not to be part of the single use vaping market.”

The UKVIA says: “While environmental campaigners applauded the move, pro-vaping critics said Waitrose could do more to protect both public health and the planet by instead refusing to sell cigarettes – the world’s most littered item.”

We have detailed the push to ban disposables in Scotland in another article this week. The push gained traction following a Scottish PhD student making the headlines as her video on Twitter went viral, showing her walking her dog and collecting discarded disposable vapes.

Then she posted follow-up Tweets calling for the banning of single-use vape products.

UKVIA said: “Following the publicity surrounding her anti-disposable campaign, the Scottish Government said it was ‘considering the emerging issues around single-use disposable vapes’ and urged consumers to dispose of them responsibly.

“As campaigns like this gain traction, it may be only a matter of time before regulators decide to look closer at the disposable sector of the vape market.”

UK Vaping Industry Association Director General John Dunne says the issue is not particularly straightforward and has led to genuine confusion within the vaping industry.

He commented: “The UKVIA and our members are in discussions with a number of waste companies to create a recycling solution that is fit for purpose for the vaping sector.

“The industry recognises its responsibilities to the environment but the recycling of vapes is not straightforward as it needs collaboration between adult vapers, retailers, manufacturers, the regulators and companies in the waste management sector, which are involved in the current Producer Compliance Schemes under the WEEE regulations.”

Dunne added: “Up to now there has been genuine confusion amongst the vaping sector about their responsibilities under the WEEE directive. Earlier this year the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment alluded to uncertainty around whether regulations covered the type of batteries found in vapes and also questioned the recycling infrastructure in place to support the sector to be more sustainable.

“This is why we are working hard as an industry to find a waste management solution that minimises the impact of vapes on the environment, particularly when it comes to single use disposables, so they are seen for what they do best – helping adult smokers kick their habits and save the lives of millions as well as millions of pounds for the health service.

“We are liaising with DEFRA and the Office for Product Safety and Standards, as well as calling upon our members and the wider industry to innovate products that make them easier to recycle for the waste management sector.”

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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