Single-use vapes, litter pick, Aylesbury Wombles

Ban disposable vapes

We’re supporting our Youth Ocean Network member, Laura Young's crusade on single-use vapes to drive more action across the country. Read on to see how you can get involved.

The problem with single-use vapes



single-use vapes thrown away each week in UK



single-use vapes sold each month in UK

Data from Material Focus highlights the extent of the single-use vape problem in the UK. With 14 million single-use vapes sold each month in the UK, many are ending up littered on our streets where they pollute the environment, making their way into rivers and eventually, the ocean.

As a society, we must move away from single-use products towards a circular economy, one in which refilling and reusing is the norm, rather than throwing away and polluting our environment. That's why we’re supporting Laura in her call for Governments to ban disposable vapes.

How you can help

  1. Snap a picture of any disposable vapes you find littered in streets, parks or on the beach.
  2. Share it on social media, including how many you found and where. Tag us (@mcsuk on Twitter and @mcs_uk on Instagram), Laura (@lesswastelaura) and use the hashtag #BanDisposableVapes - so we can find your pictures.

Disposable vapes, litter pick, Laura Young

Credit: Laura Young

We know that disposable vapes are polluting our streets, parks, rivers and beaches. By taking part, you’re helping to gather data which acts as evidence to show just how much of a problem disposable vapes are for our environment.

Every picture you take will help to show why we urgently need a ban on disposable vapes.

Laura's tireless work has led to the Scottish Government considering a ban on disposable vapes. The more we can raise awareness and add pressure, the sooner we can see these harmful items removed from our nation. If we all took to social media, sharing photos of disposable vapes we've found, we can show how widespread this problem is, and how our environment is under threat.

There is also something so powerful in seeing the problem, and creating an image which will stick in people's minds to remember this issue.

Single-use vapes and recycling

Recycling disposable vapes is tricky, as they contain several different materials, including plastic, copper, lithium, and many more.

Because different materials are recycled separately, this means the vapes can’t just be put into one particular bin. When the materials end up in the wrong recycling bins, they contaminate the contents, meaning none of it can then be recycled. You should contact your local council to find out how best to dispose of them in your area.

If you use vapes, the best thing you can do for the environment is to switch from single-use to a reusable alternative.

"Disposable vapes encourage a throwaway culture and bring more single-use plastics into our economy. It's time to see them as the nuisance they are and get them banned; for environmental protection, public health, a circular economy, and net zero."

Laura Young

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