Disposable vapes are powered by batteries which are made from lithium. Over 10 tonnes of lithium were thrown out with disposable vapes in the UK last year (Greenpeace), enough to power 1200 electric car batteries.
There has been an increase in disposable vapes being discarded across the railway infrastructure which prevents the following hazards:
- Fire hazard – lithium batteries are highly flammable and can cause dangerous fires.
- Environmental hazard – there is a risk of harmful chemicals, like battery acid, lithium and nicotine being released into water, air, or soil, causing damage to the environment. If chewed or digested they could harm wild animals or pets.
- Vapes also contain several other components such as plastic, copper, rubber and even glass, all of which do not decompose easily when incorrectly discarded.
- Vapes are classified as electrical waste and electronic equipment and should not be put into the general waste or recycling bins.
- To ensure safe and efficient disposal, vape recycling bins should be used. These can be found at your local household waste recycling centre or the local vape shop should have dedicated bins.