Vaping News

ASA Rules Against Elfbar

The Advertising Standards Authority has rapped adverts from the disposables company Elfbar making claims that it is “greener”

Share on:
The Advertising Standards Authority has rapped adverts from the disposables company Elfbar making claims that it is “greener”. Last week the single-use vape company demanded tougher legislation for vape companies yet using the advertising slogan “recycling for a greener future” is the latest in a line of transgressions from Elfbar in the United Kingdom.

In total, three separate incidents from Imiracle (HK) Ltd (the company trading as Elfbar in the UK) were investigated from ten separate complaints, including:

  1. A poster on the side of a bus stated “RECYCLING FOR A GREENER FUTURE GreenAwareness” followed by the recycling symbol. Two vapes were pictured, with the text “NEW ELFBAR 600V2 IS AVAILABLE NOW”.
  2. The digital billboard featured the same products, text and symbol as above.

The complaints were received from Adfree Cities and Imperial Tobacco Ltd. They questioned the recyclable claims made by Elfbar given that the products are disposables and not easily recycled.

The Advertising Standards Authority says Imiracle (HK) Ltd authorised Green Fun Alliance Ltd (Elfbar), the importer and one of the distributors of Elfbar products in the UK, to respond to the Authority’s questions.

Elfbar stated that research from Material Focus showed 70% of consumers threw away their single-use vapes because they did not know they were recyclable. The company claimed that the intention of the advertising campaign was to raise awareness that Elfbar disposables could be recycled. They said they wanted to encourage vapers to recycle their products. The company says this was the point of the “GreenAwareness” campaign.

The disposables company said it was continuing to improve its products and increase its recycling initiatives, but in the meantime it was relying on customers “to actively recycle to reduce the number of products being thrown away”.

Elfbar contended that “Recycling for a greener future” would be understood as them, “generally encouraging the recycling of vapes, and that vaping products were capable of being recycled. They did not think consumers would understand it as an absolute claim about the environmental impact of their products, or as a claim that their products were necessarily any more environmentally friendly or offered other environmental benefits compared with their own or competitor products.”

Despite Elfbar’s lengthy defence of its actions, the Advertising Standards Authority upheld all of the complaints. It stated: “The ASA considered the ads would be of most relevance and interest to consumers who were interested in purchasing the advertised products, many of whom would already be users of single-use vapes. The Material Focus research referenced by ELFBAR found that 73% of people who used single-use vapes threw them away. 70% threw them away because they did not know they could recycle them. We therefore considered that only a relatively small proportion of consumers who saw the ads would know that single-use vapes could be recycled. An even smaller proportion would be aware of the appropriate routes by which they must be recycled or how and where they could access them.

We considered consumers would interpret the ads’ focus and emphasis on the recycling and ‘green’ messaging in that context. As such, in the absence of any information about how to recycle the products, they were likely to expect that if they purchased ELFBAR’s single-use vapes they would be able to recycle them through a wide variety of routes including through easily accessible routes such as general recycling provisions at home.”

The Authority ordered Elfbar and the related companies “to ensure their future ads made the basis of environmental claims clear, and did not mislead as to the environmental impact or benefit of their products.”

Photo Credit:

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