Well the most controversial vaping product – disposable vapes – have been in the news again…
I am torn on the whole debate to be honest, the waste of disposables is a travesty and I believe there should be a “return” scheme with incentives to encourage their recycling.
However there is also a good argument about how a lot of people find complicated vapes intimidating or difficult to use, especially for those with issues around dexterity or sight. So these people should still be allowed to access a product which for them keeps them away from smoking.
Anyway enough of what I think – here is what is going on in Scotland…
Scottish Review of Single-Use Vapes
As you can see from the Tweets included below – there has been quite a lot of pressure for the Scottish Government to look into disposables.
So a document was published on 20th January titled “Environmental Impact of Single-Use Vapes“.
The document says that an “Urgent Review” has been commissioned on the environmental impacts and management of Single-Use Vapes (i.e. disposables). Also the evidence collected will inform future action.
Zero Waste Scotland are the review leaders and the review is in response to…
“emerging concerns around the negative consequences of the disposable devices, will inform potential policy responses, which could include a ban of the products.
The disposable smoking devices have been linked to issues including litter, plastic waste and fire risk.”
So far I am on board – however things get a bit weird after this…
“Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater said:
“Not only are single-use vapes bad for public health, they are also bad for the environment. From litter on our streets, to the risk of fires in waste facilities, there are issues which need to be addressed urgently.
“We will consider the evidence and expert advice and come forward with policy options, which could include a potential ban on single-use vapes.
“In the meantime, we would urge everyone who uses these products to make sure they are disposed of properly.””
Bad for public health – erm no – don’t know who told you that!
However balance is restored by Iain Gulland – Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland who says…
“Any form of littering is an unacceptable, anti-social behaviour, that is damaging to the environment and the economy. Single-use items, like disposable vapes, are becoming an all-too-common eyesore in areas where we live, work, and socialise, and can last in our environment for years and years. Tackling our throwaway culture is a priority here at Zero Waste Scotland and we are happy to lead on this important review.”
How Should They Be Disposed Of?
The document then discusses the correct disposal of vapes…
E-cigarettes or vapes should not be thrown away in general waste in order to avoid the risk of fire.
E-cigarettes or vapes should be disposed of at small waste electrical and electronic equipment receptacles widely available at household waste recycling centres.
If the batteries inside vapes are easily removable, these should be removed and disposed of in battery recycling receptacles.
All well and good – but I know where I live there are not many options for disposal especially as you don’t want to be encouraging people to rip these apart for recycling! Pulling off wires and exposing batteries is not something to be doing really!
The document finishes by saying that the Scottish Government is working on a “Refreshed Tobacco Action Plan” which will be published Autumn 2023.
The aims of the plan are to reduce vaping and smoking among children and young people. Plus of course there is the potential of a total ban on disposables? Watch this space!
Breaking: “Scottish Government commissions urgent review of the environmental impacts & management of single-use vapes.
Concerns around their negative consequences will inform potential policy responses, which could include a ban of the products.”https://t.co/L3SdIA21IN
— INNCOorg (@INNCOorg) January 20, 2023
The Scottish government is to consider a ban on disposable vapes, due to the threat they pose to the environment.
Friends of the Earth Scotland said companies should be held accountable for the design of products like vapes.https://t.co/4l9D4AiIx2
— ASH (@AshOrgUK) January 20, 2023
UKVIA Director General John Dunne warns that it could have unintended consequences. https://t.co/7WnzRXRnZD #vapingconversations #vaping
— UKVIA (@Vaping_Industry) January 21, 2023
Found TEN littered single use vapes on short walk with the dogs this aft. These shouldn’t exist – they’re full of plastic, wires and batteries and people just chuck them on the street. Gross. Bring on a ban! @KSBScotland @ASHScotland pic.twitter.com/J8FEKep2I4
— Catriona 🐀 (@BoxsetQueen) January 24, 2023
The same walk today (10 minute loop) once at 9am and again at 4pm. Disposable vapes found each time. #BanDisposableVapes ❌💨 Added to my weeks collection which has signs of life as many still smoke and flash. pic.twitter.com/i0A0gL7PO1
— Laura Young (@LessWasteLaura) January 24, 2023
Thank you, @lornaslater, for listening to the calls to #BanDisposableVapes and reacting quickly with your commitment to reviewing the impacts of single-use vapes in Scotland. https://t.co/hWwrEwVdU6
— ASH Scotland (@ASHScotland) January 20, 2023
We welcome @Daily_Record‘s new campaign and @GillianMacMSP‘s call on @scotgov to #BanDisposableVapes due to environmental and children’s health concerns.
Read the views of our CEO Sheila Duffy, @cathgem2000, @Barry_Fisher01, @kimpratt + @LessWasteLaura 👇https://t.co/ZVHvKHxC04
— ASH Scotland (@ASHScotland) January 19, 2023