Sustainable vaping & corporate responsibility
Sustainable vaping & corporate responsibility
Helping to promote sustainable vaping is an important consideration in everything that we do, and ensuring that we are being a responsible retailer and supporting others within the vaping industry to do the same is something we consider to be a top priority. We are committed to reducing the impact that vaping has on the environment through initiatives which help us offset our carbon footprint, recycling, and supporting our customers in being responsible vapers.
We are always looking for opportunities to promote environmental sustainability and ways that we can offset our carbon emissions. While vaping plays an important role in help adult smokers to quit, it is an inevitable fact that vaping products produce both plastic and electrical waste which, if not disposed of responsibly, can be damaging to the environment.
Protecting our oceans
We wanted to do our bit to minimise the impact of plastic pollution on our oceans, so we have collaborated with CleanHub and committed to recovering 12,500 kg of plastic waste before it can reach the ocean. CleanHub not only intercept ocean-bound plastic, but also sort and process it to ensure that as much is recycled and reused as possible. Their work connects environmentally conscious brands like ourselves with local communities in South Asia, helping prevent plastic pollution and also creating stable jobs and safer workplaces for these communities. We are already halfway towards completing our goal, with 6,250 kg of plastic waste recovered so far.
Another organisation we are proud to support is the Eden Reforestation Projects, who are working to restore landscapes in countries like Kenya, Madagascar, and Mozambique, and mitigate climate change. They work with local communities to not only plant new trees, but to protect eco-systems and promote the long-term sustainability of forests. We have committed to planting one tree for every four BrewBox devices sold, and so far we have assisted in planting over 24,000 trees.
We are also excited to be taking part in Feefo’s ‘Treefo’ initiative, which helps our customers turn their feedback into forests! We have been working with Feefo for a number of years, giving our customers the opportunity to review their experience shopping online with Evapo. This newly launched initiative is in collaboration with tree planting projects and each review helps plant a new tree, so our customers can feel good about the fact that their review is not only helping us ensure they get the best experience, but also has a positive impact on the environment.
Recycling is one of the simplest ways that we can reduce our impact on the environment, and a little extra effort from us can help tackle plastic pollution and recover valuable materials to be reused.
Recycling vape kits and disposable vapes
Disposable vapes are a convenient option which have become extremely popular, but their disposable nature means that most of them are being thrown away via general waste, contributing a lot of extra waste to landfill or incineration. A recent study suggests that over 50% of people do not know how to properly dispose of e-cigarettes, so we are striving to not only make it more transparent, but to also make it easier to responsibly dispose of your vapes.
We offer Elf Bar recycling bins in our retail stores, where you can dispose of your used Elf Bar 600 disposable vapes, which can then be taken to a specialist facility to be dismantled and recycled.
We are also working with Waste Experts to introduce Vape Vessels into our stores, which offer a convenient way for our customers to dispose of all of their used disposable vapes. Each Vape Vessel can safely contain around 12 kg of vapes, which are then collected by Waste Experts ARD licensed fleet and transported to their state-of-the-art Approved Authorised Treatment Facility (AAFT) for recycling. E-cigarettes contain a lithium-ion battery, which contains many different valuable materials which can be reused to make things like batteries for electric cars, and by recycling your disposable vapes in a Vape Vessel you can ensure that all recoverable and recyclable materials are being processed by a specialist vape recycling facility.
If you can’t make it to one of our stores you can responsibly recycle your vape kits and disposable vapes at your local specialist facility. You can find your local facility by entering your postcode on the Recycle Your Electricals website. You could also consider the ANDS Slix range of disposable vapes, which take an environmentally conscious approach to vaping by incorporating biodegradable and recyclable materials in place of single-use plastics. You can sign up to the SLIX Recycling Club to return your used devices directly to them via a prepaid envelope, they will then take care of the recycling process for you, ensuring that less than 1% of each Slix disposable vape ends up in landfill. Find out more about this in our blog post ‘Recyclable disposable vapes’.
Recycling e-liquid packaging and batteries
E-liquid packaging is actually easy to recycle as part of your household waste. The cardboard packaging and paper instructions which may come with your e-liquid can go straight into your recycling bin, and as long as they have been cleaned and rinsed to remove any e-liquid residue, your e-liquid bottles can also be included with your household plastic recycling.
If you are using a vape kit with removeable batteries, these can also be recycled to recover the valuable materials inside. It is crucial that you dispose of vape batteries properly, as they contain hazardous chemicals which can be detrimental to the environment. We offer battery bins in all of our retail stores, and you can also find them in supermarkets and in your local battery recycling facility.
Reduction is another important part of being a responsible and sustainable retailer, whether that is removing any unnecessary packaging from the products produced in our e-liquid manufacturing facility, or helping our customers choose more sustainable vaping options. In 2019 alone over one billion single-use plastic carrier bags were used in the UK, and once they have made their way to landfill these non-biodegradable bags can take up to 1,000 years to break down. Since day one we have only used paper bags in our retail stores, which customers can easily recycle at home.
Our e-liquid manufacturing facility uses bottles which are entirely recyclable as part of your domestic waste, including both their 10ml and larger short fill bottles. The bottles are made from a combination of PP plastic (polypropylene), PET plastic (Polyethylene terephthalate), HDPE plastic (high density polyethylene) and LDPE plastic (low density polyethylene), all of which can be recycled to become new plastic products. In order to recycle the bottles at home we recommend detaching the cap and rinsing any e-liquid residue out of the bottle. We are also actively working with our suppliers to support them in reducing the plastic used in their packaging.
Additionally, we are working to reduce our carbon emissions and have undergone reviews of our air and car travel, electrical usage, and deliveries both to our 45+ retail stores and to customers from our online vape store, to identify where changes can be made. We have already switched all company cars from diesel and petrol to electric vehicles and switched our energy suppliers for all our retail stores to 100% renewable energy sources.
Promoting sustainable vaping
Disposable vapes, also known as single-use vapes, are a great option for those times when you need a small and portable device that you don’t have to worry about refilling or recharging. But when used all the time disposables can become costly both to you and to the environment. We are actively working to help our customers find an alternative to disposable vapes which works for them, and promote sustainable vaping. Switching to a reusable vape kit can cut down on the amount of vape waste that you are throwing away, and our in-store and online vaping experts are on hand to help you find the best one for you.
Rechargeable disposable vapes
Rechargeable disposable vapes have the same small size and a similar design to standard disposables, but can be refilled and recharged multiple times before needing to be disposed of. These devices can usually be refilled at least ten times, meaning that one device can last as long as ten standard disposables, while cutting waste by up to 90%.
Prefilled pod kits
Prefilled pod vape kits are a type of vape kit which are extremely simple to use and make a great option for new vapers. The pods for these devices come prefilled with e-liquid and do not need to be refilled, but instead can be disposed of when empty and replaced with a new one. The battery can be recharged whenever needed so, unlike disposable vapes, you will not need to throw away the battery every time the e-liquid runs out, and the pods generate much less plastic waste than single-use vapes.
Refillable pod kits and vape kits
Refillable pod vape kits also tend to have a very simple design that makes them easy to use and require very little maintenance. Unlike prefilled pod kits, these pods can be refilled with any compatible e-liquid multiple times until the coil inside starts to burn out. Once the coil has burnt out you will need to dispose of either the pod or just the coil, depending on the device, and replace it.
Vape kits with a refillable tank are the most cost-effective and eco-friendly option, as the tank can be reused indefinitely and it is only the coil inside which will need to be changed periodically. The tank can be refilled whenever needed with any compatible vape juice, which can save you a substantial amount of money compared to single-use vapes. For less than the cost of one disposable vape containing 2ml of e-liquid, you can buy one 10ml bottle of vape juice which can refill a standard vape pod or tank five times. You can find out all about switching to reusable vape kits in our article ‘Alternatives to disposable vapes’.
Our work with UKVIA and IBVTA
We are a founding member of the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) and proud member of the Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA), working closely with both industry bodies to support the wider vaping industry to promote the recycling of vaping products and the reduction of vaping waste. As part of this we are supporting UKVIA’s Sustainable Vaping Week which focuses on informing vapers about how to recycle their vaping products, and which types of devices they can choose to become more conscious and sustainable vapers. They have also launched their new 'Recycle Vapes' web-based vape recycling information hub to help you easily access information on how to responsibly recycle your vapes.