The Government today announced a plan to ban disposable vapes across the UK. This is not only good news for the health of our younger population who are responsible for a tripling in use of these vapes over the past 3 years, but also for the environment.
It was estimated last year that over 5 million single use vapes were thrown away each week in the UK, with many ending up in landfill. The issue is that these vapes contain lithium batteries and chemicals which are potentially harmful to wildlife and the environment.
So as a business what should you do if you are finding single use vapes appearing in your waste stream at work?
Single use vapes are classed as Waste Electrical and Electronic Waste (WEEE), so as a minimum under this and the Batteries and Accumulators (Placing on the Market) Regulations 2008 should be segregated from general waste stream for separate collection, and sent to an approved authorised treatment facility. Whilst the batteries may not deem the vapes hazardous waste on their own, the chemicals used in them make it a difficult waste to dispose of safely.
Waste management companies such as Veolia and Biffa are now offering vape recycling collections, but the market has grown quicker than the recycling solution.
Environment Secretary Steve Barclay welcomed the plans to ban disposable vapes, arguing the move would also help the government meet its recycling and waste targets.
In order to ensure you are kept aware of changes to legislation and can plan for maintaining future compliance, give EHS Management a call on 07764302858, or email firstname.lastname@example.org