Vaping News

UKVIA Responds to Material Focus Research

Trade body the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) has responded to research conducted by Material Focus that discovered number of dumped disposables has soared

Share on:
Trade body the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) has responded to research conducted by Material Focus that discovered that the number of dumped disposable vapes has rocketed from 1.3 million to nearly 5 million per week. The findings indicated that the potential yearly cost of collecting and recycling these vapes now stands at £200 million – a tab currently being picked up by taxpayers.

As detailed in our article, Material Focus discovered the sale of disposables has risen to over 30 million per month – and this is just legal adult sales. Only 17% of vapers admit to recycling their products once spent and an estimated 3 million used vapes are being hoarded in cupboards because people don’t know what to do with them.

73% of vapers acknowledge that they simple throw their used vapes away with 1% admitting to flushing them down toilets!

Material Focus says a package of solutions are needed to solve the problem, which includes immediate and significant voluntary action by the vape industry to take-back and recycle the products. Material Focus also says the industry needs to do more to raise public awareness on the issue of recycling.

The UK Vaping Industry Association responded by saying: “We have always acknowledged the environmental challenge posed by single use vapes and we have led the way in bringing key stakeholders across the vape waste chain to create solutions to reduce their environmental impact.

“We welcome the solutions put forward by Material Focus and are leading industry action in a number of these areas and more. Education of consumers about how to recycle single use vapes; product innovations that enhance recycling rates; compliance with the current regulations; and investment in waste collection points at point of use and not just at point of sale, are all critical in reducing the environmental impact of single use vapes.

“We must protect the environment while also recognising the contribution disposable vapes have made in helping adult smokers start on their quit journeys, in turn helping to achieve the government’s 2030 smokefree ambition. The devices are one of the main reasons why for a second year running smoking rates have hit record low levels in Great Britain according to Office of National Statistics data published this week. Cigarettes are also still the single most littered item on the planet. Over a billion smokers worldwide discard a combined 4.5 trillion cigarette butts every year.

“Over 250 people die every day in the UK from smoking and cigarettes cost the NHS around £2.6bn every year; this is a huge price to pay and disposable vapes offer a highly effective, proven and considerably less harmful alternative than conventional cigarettes, because of their accessibility, ease of use and price points.

“In October we are launching Sustainable Vaping Week alongside International E-Waste Day and this will focus on helping the industry to educate their customers about how to dispose of their single use devices and other vapes in an environmentally responsible way.”

Comment: The simple fact is the industry is not doing enough to prevent the dumping of toxic plastics and lithium-ion cells – and this situation has been going on for far too long. It isn’t acceptable to gaslight the public by pointing to cigarette butt waste. It is no wonder that we are now facing ban calls in Scotland and the new Hayes bill in Parliament. Material Focus is correct – the industry must end its procrastination and take immediate and significant action now.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
View Articles

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.

Join the discussion

Vaping News

Harm Reduction For The Rich

The United Kingdom risks becoming a harm reduction country only for the wealthy, according to Michael Landl of the World Vapers’ Alliance

Vaping News

Sacrificing Health For 2p Cut

Tory Government alienates vaping voters with its mission to cut tax by an unaffordable 2p to attract voters by placing a tax on vape products in the forthcoming budget

Vaping News

Scotland Announces Single-Use Vape Action

A ban on the sale and supply of single-use vapes in Scotland is due to come into effect on 1 April 2025, under proposed legislation published today

Vaping News

Industry Licensing Scheme Proposed

A vape industry licensing scheme will generate £50m+ per year to combat underage and illicit vape sales according to industry experts