“It is actually possible to tackle a huge proportion of the waste issue and significantly reduce youth access with one simple change to the regulations,” Vapeclub says. “Currently, UK regulations limit the eliquid capacity of a disposable vape to 2ml maximum. If this limitation was raised to 10ml it would have a massive impact.”
All disposable electronic cigarettes contain a lithium-ion battery which, by virtue of the product, is only used once and presents a major problem in terms of the waste management.
“However,” Vapeclub goes on to point out, “if the eliquid capacity is raised to 10ml then a charging port can be added to the device and the same battery can be re-used 5-6 times before the eliquid runs out. This will reduce battery waste by 80% straight away (one battery in one device instead of five batteries in five devices).”
Vapeclub believes such a move would significantly reduce other associated waste (plastic, aluminium, etc) as well. The company argues that the materials needed to construct the new 10ml type device would be far below the sum of five smaller devices.
“This buys us time,” Vapeclub says. “Both the vape industry and the waste and recycling industry are already innovating new methods to make the recycling of disposable vape products much easier.”
The recycling industry has already commented that even if all disposables were placed into the recycling process, the build of the products makes them very difficult to manage.
Vapeclub addresses this design issue: “Some ideas involve making the device very easy and safe to disassemble, which allows for effective recycling. Others are looking into alternative battery technology which does not involve lithium. They just need time to come to fruition.”
Vapeclub makes three further suggestions for consideration:
- Internal battery capacity must not exceed 500mAh and the device must have a charging port – to ensure that manufacturers don’t just put a bigger battery in the products.
- Introduce a minimum eliquid capacity to ensure that all 2ml products are phased out of the market and we effectively outprice under 18’s and significantly reduce waste. For example, eliquid capacity must be within the range of 8-10ml.
- The battery must be easily removable for recycling purposes and have measures to ensure safe handling during the recycling process (for example no wires left attached to the battery).
Then the company moves on to the thorny subject of teen access: “In the same way that removing 10-packs of cigarettes had a huge impact on the reduction of youth access to cigarettes, increasing the eliquid capacity of disposable vapes will have the same effect.
“Currently, a disposable vape costs between £4-6, which unfortunately makes them financially attainable to those under 18 years old. When we increase the eliquid capacity to 10ml the cost of the products will rise significantly, bringing them into parity with 20 cigarettes at around £12-15. We can price them out.
“This is by no means the only action needed to tackle youth access, but it will be a hugely positive step in the right direction. We urgently need a compulsory national test purchasing scheme to catch rogue traders selling to children and impose very heavy fines as a real deterrent, but we will cover this in a separate piece.”
- Vapeclub – https://www.vapeclub.co.uk/