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We know that many vapers want to be able to enjoy the benefits of vaping while also doing their bit for the environment. That’s why we’ve put together a handy guide to help you vape with the least environmental impact.

Smoking vs. vaping: how they impact the environment

While disposable vapes are criticised for their environmental impact, it is important to consider the fact that they cause a lower impact than smoking. Here are just a few ways that vaping and smoking stack up when it comes to sustainability.

The environmental impact of smoking

  • Discarded cigarette butts are a major issue when it comes to smoking. According to the BBC, not only do butts create 845,000 tons of litter every year, but they are toxic to wildlife too.
  • Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) reports that just one person smoking a pack of 20 cigarettes every day for 50 years generates a total carbon footprint of 5.1t CO2 equivalent emissions.
  • We also know that cigarettes release over 5000 different chemicals when they are smoked and Cancer Research says that at least 70 of those are carcinogenic.
  • Cigarettes offer limited recycling options, making it difficult to dispose of them in a sustainable way.

The environmental impact of vaping

  • There are lots of components to vape devices which means they can’t be popped in your household recycling. However, many of these can be recycled in the right conditions (see more information down below!).
  • One of the biggest problems is the fact that people choose not to recycle vapes or don’t know that it’s possible, which is why we are working to spread information about how to properly dispose of your used vapes.

How to choose more eco-friendly vape devices

A great way to cut down on the environmental impact of vaping is to think carefully about the vaping devices themselves. Disposable vapes are designed to be used for a set amount of time, which means that they are very convenient but also place the highest demands on resources. Essentially, you’re throwing away a vape and its battery every time it’s drained. Happily, there are a variety of vaping options with rechargeable batteries to choose from.

By making the switch to reusable vapes, you’re extending the life of your device and vaping more sustainably. There are reusable vapes that have replaceable prefilled pods, which are very easy to use and can be a great first step for anyone hoping to make a change. For these prefilled pod kits, the only part which needs to be replaced is the pod once it is empty, which cuts down a lot on plastic waste.

An even greener option is switching to a refillable vape kit. These kits have rechargeable batteries and by replacing the coil, your refillable device can last for a long time. 

If you’re looking for a vape kit that has a particular focus on sustainability, then the Riot Connex device is a great choice. It uses recycled plastics and the brand makes a conscious effort to reduce its environmental impact.

Consider responsible e-liquid consumption

There are also ways that you can be mindful of your environmental impact when it comes to your e-liquids. Here are a few things to think about when you’re trying to be climate conscious.

  • You can reduce the amount of waste you’re producing by choosing a refillable vape kit and opting for larger bottles of e-liquids. This is a great choice when you’ve found a flavour that you like and will help you save money as well as the environment.
  • Most e-liquid bottles can be recycled, all you need to do is rinse out any e-liquid residue before popping them into your household recycling. Likewise, if your e-liquids come in a box, this can usually also be flattened and added to your home recycling.   

Dispose of vape products properly

When vaping devices and kits come to the end of their life, it’s important to make sure they’re recycled properly. The materials used to make vape batteries can be recycled into really important resources like batteries for electric cars, but vape batteries can only be processed by specialist recycling facilities. There is some great information about how to recycle your vapes on the Recycle your electricals website, and you can also find your local recycling point which can process vapes here by using your post code.

We encourage vape recycling initiatives and you can find some handy information in our guide to disposing of vapes and e-liquids safely. You can also pop into your local Evapo store, where you’ll find battery and disposable recycling points where you can drop off used products.

Battery maintenance and recycling

Another good way to lessen your impact on the environment is to be aware of the ways you can extend the life of your batteries. You can look after your rechargeable vape battery by:

  • Using the charger cable that came with your device, where possible
  • Using a plug with a 1amp output to ensure you are not supplying too much power to the battery, which can cause it to degrade quickly or even to short out
  • Letting the device fully recharge before removing it from charging
  • Being sure not to leave it charging overnight, unattended, or on a flammable surface like a blanket or bed spread

If you are using external batteries we recommend using a battery bay charger as a way to extend the battery life. Once your external battery does finally reach the end of its life (when it doesn’t hold a charge anymore or it shows any signs of aging or damage – find out more about these in our battery safety guide), it can be left in any battery recycling point, such as in one of our stores or your local supermarket or electrical store.

Explore innovations in sustainable vaping

We’re happy to see that many brands are considering ways to make their products more sustainable and greener vapes are already available – like the Riot Connex we mentioned earlier or the new Innokin Trine, which is designed to make it easy to remove the battery allowing you to recharge, replace or dispose of it in  usual battery recycling.

There are a few other innovations that can help you reduce the environmental impact of your vaping. For example, big puff bars that offer much larger puff counts than the average disposable vape are an option if you are not yet ready to move away from disposable vapes, but want to replace your device less frequently. Because they last longer than standard 2ml disposables they produce less plastic and electrical waste and can also save you some money.

Currently, disposable vapes remain available, but the Government has proposed a disposable vape ban in the UK. If the ban is brought in, it will be under The Environmental Protection Act. The fate of the ban is currently up in the air, due to the impending general election, but should it go ahead the proposed date is April 2025.

Switching to a reusable kit can help you reduce waste and can even offer a wider range of flavours and nicotine strengths. Get some inspiration in our guide to disposable vape alternatives.

Evapo support sustainable vaping initiatives

We’re also delighted to see the industry embrace various ideas and campaigns for promoting less wasteful vaping alternatives. Pursuing sustainable practices has been important to Evapo for a long while and in 2023, we became involved in the Treefo project. This entails using Feefo – the world’s largest verified reviews provider – to fund tree-planting projects in return for honest customer reviews.

We also partnered with CleanHub last year to fund the retrieval of ocean-bound plastic waste, to ensure it is recycled rather than polluting our oceans. We committed to recovering 12,500 kg of plastic waste and recently achieved this goal!

Evapo endeavours to be a responsible retailer and we take our corporate responsibility very seriously. From promoting recycling opportunities to looking for ways to reduce our own waste, we’re always looking for ways to minimise our impact and support other industry bodies to do the same. You can find out more about our ethos in our statement on vaping sustainably and corporate responsibility.

Sources

sciencefocus.com - 07/06/2022

ash.org.uk - 01/0902022