Nationwide collection & treatment
It is estimated 1.3 million vapes are being disposed of each week, incorrect disposal of vapes can cause a whole host of environmental issues. Waste Experts have combatted this issue by releasing our UK wide collection and recycling service for all types of vapes and e-cigarettes.
Correct Vape Disposal
Vapes can cause environmental damage through widespread littering, this endangers wildlife and can present a high risk of fire due to the volatile nature of the battery within.
The Vape Vessel
As members of the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA), Waste Experts are leading the way by offering a unique service offering to support the entire vaping industry. We offer compliance support to producers and distributors of vapes, through our Producer Compliance Scheme (PCS), WERCS. Waste Experts also offer an industry leading recycling service, which includes UK wide collection and treatment for all types of vapes and e-cigarettes. We also have an exclusive container range for safe storage and transportation of waste vapes.
Sales of vapes have rocketed over the last couple of years, with a new generation of non-smokers now using vapes as a socially accepted part of leisure time. Initially designed to help smokers to quit the habit, approximately 500 million vapes are purchased in the UK each year, of which an estimated 168 million are disposable (single use) vapes.
The majority of vape and e-cigarettes are currently being disposed of via a general waste route when they reach end of life, rather than via an approved electrical recycling route. This equates to two single use vapes being binned as general waste every second, resulting in a significant volume being sent via the non compliant route to landfill. According to a recent study by Truth Initiative, over 50% of people reported that they don’t know how to properly dispose of these devices.
The disposal of vapes and e-cigarettes is governed by the WEEE Regulations 2013 where vapes are classed under Category 7, Toys, Leisure and Sports Equipment. The Environment Agency’s intention is to give vapes their own WEEE category as they pose different challenges to dismantle and recycle compared to other WEEE in category 7, particularly as vapes contain hazardous wastes such as lithium and nicotine.
Waste Experts are passionate about educating vape users about the importance of proper disposal and recycling of vaping-related waste to help minimise environmental impact. Through our comprehensive vape recycling service we ensure that hazardous components, such as lithium-ion batteries and nicotine cartridges, are disposed of in an environmentally friendly and safe manner, plus any recyclable materials are recovered, conserving valuable resources.
The Vape Vessel
Our Vape Vessel is a simple and convenient container solution for responsible storage of discarded vapes and e-cigarettes, prior to onward collection and recycling. The Vape Vessel is the perfect solution for all types of businesses that are looking to improve their recycling rates, reduce the amount of vapes being disposed of in general waste and mitigate the risk to the environment through batteries fires or improper disposal.
The Vape Vessel safely holds around 12kgs of mixed vapes, which equates to between 500-750 units of varying sizes. The container is easy carriable within manual handling guidelines and has a very professional image, so you can confidently display your container in a location which ensures it is utilised effectively. For larger volumes we can offer a range of containers and pallet boxes to suit requirements.
Waste Experts offer the unique option of having point of sale marketing materials, which can help promote your company ethos and demonstrate your commitment to environmental sustainability. We work in partnership with all of our customers to maximise recycling opportunities and improve their environmental performance.
Once your Vape Vessel has reached capacity, Waste Experts will quickly and effectively collect your old container and replace with a new one. Vapes are classed as hazardous waste, but you can rest assured that Waste Experts have an ADR licensed fleet to safely transport the materials back to our Approved Authorised Treatment Facility (AATF) for vape recycling.
Understanding Vapes and E-Waste
In the UK, single-use vapes are now the fastest growing segment of the vape product category with considerable consequences for the environment. Due to a lack of consumer awareness and understanding, these products mainly are discarded in regular household waste, presenting a growing environmental challenge. Although some environmental campaigners are calling for a ban on single-use vapes most news reports fail to focus on the fact that consumers don’t try to recycle these products because they do not know they should or have easy access to a recycling option, this is, in fact, the key issue when it comes to environmental concerns around most waste streams and is not unique to vapes.
The Challenges of Recycling Single-Use Vapes
Waste Experts recently conducted a recyclability report and testing on single-use vapes on behalf of our client. We concluded that single-use vapes can indeed be recycled when handled correctly. Our findings were presented to lawmakers during a special event at the Houses of Parliament. This revelation comes at a time when the disposal of over five million single-use vapes every week has drawn significant attention to the categories environmental impact. Scotland is even contemplating a ban on disposable vapes due to these concerns.
Our research specifically focused on two types of vapes: the commonly available single-use plastic and aluminium version, and a new variation made from cardboard. We assessed their recyclability by considering factors such as the materials they're composed of, the weight of components that can be recycled, the reduction in waste going to landfills, how easily they can be taken apart, the number of parts in each vape, and the overall weight of the products in both cases.
READ OUR FULL REPORT HERE
Conducted by Waste Experts and commissioned by ANDS
View Our Report
Our recyclability report and experience of dealing with vape waste indicates that the real environmental challenge in the vaping sector is the lack of availability and knowledge of collection systems and recycling, despite Waste Experts being able to offer a nationwide collection and treatment process.
managing your project efficiently
We take a personalised approach to each customer, evaluating their waste streams and implementing strategies to increase operational efficiency, reduce waste and lower costs, all while maximising revenue from commodities. Our commitment to sustainability is evident through our high recycling rates and transparent reporting of carbon impact. With exceptional service and account management support, our customers can trust in our ability to provide top-quality waste management services.
improving environmental performance
Our Vape Recycling Process
Waste Experts state of the art Approved Authorised Treatment Facility (AATF) in Huddersfield is fully permitted and licensed to compliantly recycle all types of vapes and e-cigarettes. The composition of these materials makes mechanical processing impractical, however Waste Experts have an unrivalled recycling process for this waste stream and are already recycling and recovering tonnes of materials from the vapes we collect each day.
There are a vast range of vape types, including single use (disposable) and rechargeable devices that have either a single use chamber, or a refillable tank. Although every vape is designed slightly differently, all these smoking devices pretty much contain the same basic parts: the battery, the tank, a coil and a mouthpiece. Waste Experts are fully equipped to handle all types of vapes, making our vape recycling solution even more accessible and simple to use without the requirement for unnecessary segregation.
By recycling vapes we could save more than ten tonnes of lithium that could be recycled into new products from the batteries, this equates to enough metal to make batteries for 1,200 electric cars. Recycling the lithium would save up to 72 tonnes of carbon emissions compared to using raw materials. Producing one tonne of lithium from ore produces around nine tonnes of CO₂ emissions.
Our nationwide fleet of vehicles, ranging from a van to an articulated lorry (and every size in between), means we have the largest and most flexible coverage in the industry and can collect vapes from any UK location. Whether you are an independent vape store, a large high street retailer or a manufacturer of vapes, Waste Experts can help keep your business compliant and offer a flexible, reliable and responsible recycling solution.
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