Why Vape Recycling is Crucial for Our Environment

Written by: Chris Sharpe



Time to read 8 min

Why Vape Recycling is Crucial for Our Environment

The escalating concern around the waste generated by vaping cannot be ignored any longer. As society becomes increasingly conscious of its environmental impact, it's crucial to address this often-overlooked area: recycling our used vape products. Shockingly, the latest research from Material Focus reveals that nearly 5 million disposable vapes are thrown away each week in the UK alone. That's equivalent to 8 single-use vapes discarded every second! The numbers are mind-boggling, and the ramifications are dire, as these vapes contain hazardous materials like lithium and battery acid.

But what can we do to turn the tide? That's the question we aim to answer with this article. At Selby Vapes, we've recognised this pressing issue and have initiated a vape recycling scheme in collaboration with Project Green Wings and other vaping brands. Our goal is to educate the public about the importance of recycling their vapes and provide an effective and accessible avenue for this necessary action. Through this post, we'll delve into why vape recycling is crucial, how you can recycle your vape equipment and components, and more. So, read on to understand the importance of this initiative for our environment and future generations.

By doing your part, you can help to drastically reduce waste and decrease the harmful impact of disposable vapes on our planet. .

The Growing Problem of Vape Waste

With the soaring popularity of vaping, we've seen an unfortunate and simultaneous rise in e cigarette waste. It's important to examine the numbers to truly grasp the scope of the issue. This isn't just a matter of overflowing landfills; it's an environmental hazard of staggering proportions.

Disposable vapes are full of materials that should not be entering our ecosystem. The lithium-ion batteries contained in these single-use vapes are highly flammable and pose significant fire risks, particularly when they end up in waste processing centres. Furthermore, when not disposed of properly, there's a risk of harmful chemicals like battery waste, lithium, and nicotine leaching into the environment. These hazardous materials can contaminate the soil and water, creating long-lasting damage that is not easily reversible.

The UK government has not turned a blind eye to this alarming issue. Recognising the fastest-growing waste stream generated by disposable vapes, there has been a call to action to address the responsible disposal of these items. Initiatives have been proposed to educate the public on how to dispose of vapes safely, and there's an increasing push towards encouraging recycling services. However, government intervention alone isn't enough to tackle this problem; it requires a concerted effort from individuals, local councils, and businesses alike.

This is precisely where Selby Vapes aims to make a difference with our vape recycling scheme. The need for action has never been more pressing, and through this initiative, we hope to contribute substantially to alleviating this growing environmental concern.

Purple disposable vape thrown away in the street

What Goes into a Disposable Vape?

Understanding the urgency of vape recycling starts with knowing what goes into these devices. At the core of most vaping kits, whether they are disposable vapes or rechargeable vapes, is a lithium battery. Lithium is a valuable material that's also found in other high-demand products like electric cars. However, its value belies its hazardous nature. When mishandled, lithium batteries can be highly flammable and pose a significant fire risk. This is especially concerning when these batteries end up in waste processing centres or even just your household waste bin, increasing the risk of dangerous fires.

Another component to consider is the e-liquid contained within vape pods or cartridges. While you might savour the flavours when vaping, the residual e-liquid left in discarded pods can be harmful to nature. This e-liquid residue often contains nicotine, which is toxic to animals and poses an environmental risk if it seeps into the soil or water supply.

Even the materials that encase these components, such as plastics and metals, contribute to environmental degradation when not recycled in the correct way. Tossing these items into a domestic or public bin means they'll likely end up in a landfill, where they can take hundreds of years to decompose. During that time, the risk of harmful chemicals leaching into the environment remains high.

Therefore, the components of vape products don't just create waste; they are potential hazards that compound the importance of responsible disposal and recycling. It's crucial to look beyond simply throwing away your used vapes. Instead, consider options like Selby Vapes' recycling scheme to ensure these items are handled correctly and responsibly.

5 million disposable vapes are thrown away each week in the UK alone

Material Focus

The Importance of Recycling Your Vapes


As we've established, the consequences of not recycling vapes, particularly disposable vapes, are severe both in terms of environmental degradation and wasted resources. This brings us to the crucial subject of vape recycling and its myriad benefits for the planet.

Environmental Benefits

Firstly, the environmental advantages of recycling can't be overstated. Every vape kit thrown away contributes to the growing problem of electronic waste, which is now the fastest-growing waste stream in the world. By recycling your used vape equipment, you're helping to divert these items from landfills where they can take years to break down while also potentially leaching toxic materials into the earth. Moreover, it prevents the e-liquid residue from contaminating the soil and waterways.

Conservation of Valuable Resources

One of the standout merits of recycling vapes is the conservation of invaluable resources, like lithium found in vape batteries. Lithium is a finite resource, and given its crucial role in technologies such as electric cars, conserving this element is essential for sustainable development. The act of recycling helps reclaim this material so it can be reused, reducing the need to mine for new lithium and thereby lessening the environmental impact linked with its extraction.

Through vape recycling schemes like the one offered by Selby Vapes, not only are you mitigating the immediate ecological impacts of vape waste, but you're also contributing to a more sustainable future. By recycling vape equipment, particularly batteries, we can collectively reduce waste and conserve resources that would otherwise be lost forever.

So, the next time you reach for a new vape kit, remember the invaluable opportunity you have to make a difference. Instead of contributing to the problem, be part of the solution by recycling your old vape kits and components responsibly. Selby Vapes' recycling scheme provides an easy and effective way for you to do just that

How to Recycle Vapes

The ever-growing problem of vape waste has necessitated the need for viable recycling options. Fortunately, there are multiple ways you can responsibly recycle vapes, helping to mitigate their environmental impacts and conserve valuable materials like lithium.

Household Waste Recycling Centre

One common method is to take your used vapes, especially those with built-in batteries, to your local recycling centre. These centres are well-equipped to handle waste electrical and electronic equipment, ensuring they are processed and recycled properly. However, it's always a good idea to check your local council website for specific guidelines about recycling vapes at these facilities.

Selby Vapes Vape Recycling Scheme

For those based in Selby, Goole, Sherburn, and surrounding areas, Selby Vapes offers a convenient and responsible vape recycling scheme. Not only does this service allow you to recycle disposable vapes, but it also accepts rechargeable vapes and e-liquid bottles. The scheme even includes collection when using the same-day local delivery service, making it easier than ever to recycle your e cigarettes and vapes responsibly.

If you've used up your e-liquid and your vape kits are no longer functional, don't throw it in your household recycling bin or domestic waste bin. Instead, take advantage of Selby Vapes' dedicated vape recycling service. By doing so, you are actively participating in reducing e-waste and conserving essential resources.

Remember, each vape recycled is a step towards a more sustainable future. Whether you drop off your vapes at a waste recycling centre or make use of Selby Vapes' convenient recycling scheme, you're contributing to a larger effort to make vaping a more environmentally friendly activity.

FAQ Section

How do I dispose of my vapes?

You can dispose of your vapes by taking them to a local recycling centre that handles electrical waste. For instance, North Yorkshire Council says "You can recycle Vapes and E-Cigarettes, free of charge, at all household waste recycling centres". If you're in the Selby area, you can also utilise Selby Vapes' dedicated vape recycling scheme to responsibly get rid of your used vapes.

Do vapes go in the recycling?

Vapes should not be thrown into your household recycling bin. They contain specific components like lithium-ion batteries that require specialised recycling processes. Always refer to your local recycling facility or council guidelines for proper disposal.

Is it illegal to throw vapes in the bin?

It's not necessarily illegal, but it's highly discouraged due to the environmental hazards posed by components like lithium batteries. Vapes should be taken to specialised recycling facilities or schemes like Selby Vapes' battery recycling bin and service.

Is it possible to recycle vapes?

Absolutely, vapes can and should be recycled to reduce waste and the strain on valuable resources. They can be recycled at recycling centres or through specific schemes like Selby Vapes' vape recycling service.

How should you dispose of a vape?

Dispose of vapes at a local waste recycling centre or through a specialised recycling scheme. Never throw them in household waste bins or standard recycling bins.

Can you recycle elf bars?

Yes, you can recycle elf bars through specialised vape recycling schemes like the one offered by Selby Vapes.

Are disposable vapes hazardous waste?

Disposable vapes contain components like lithium-ion batteries that are hazardous if not disposed of properly. Hence, they should be treated as hazardous waste.

Does anywhere recycle disposable vapes?

Yes, disposable vapes can be recycled at your local waste recycling facility and through specialised vape recycling schemes like Selby Vapes' program.

What can I do with my old external battery?

Old vape batteries can be taken to battery recycling collection points commonly found in supermarkets like Tesco or to recycling centres.

Can I put a lithium battery in the bin?

No, lithium-ion batteries should never be simply thrown in the bin as they pose a fire risk. They should be taken to a battery recycling point or local waste recycling centre.

Summing Up

The urgency of tackling the rapidly growing problem of vape waste cannot be overstated. With a staggering 5 million disposable vapes being thrown away every week in the UK alone, the environmental impact is reaching alarming proportions. The need for responsible vape recycling is no longer a topic for debate; it's an immediate call to action.

Recycling vapes not only reduces the volume of waste but also conserves valuable resources like lithium. By partaking in responsible disposal practices, we all contribute to lessening the environmental impact and making the planet a safer, cleaner place for generations to come.

If you're in the Selby area or the surrounding regions, Selby Vapes offers a convenient and responsible way to recycle your old vapes, including disposable and single-use models. This recycling scheme is an excellent step toward solving this environmental issue, one vape at a time.

So, don't just throw your used vapes in the bin. Take that extra step to recycle. Participate in Selby Vapes' vape recycling scheme or find your nearest recycling centre. Together, let's turn the tide on vape waste and pave the way for a sustainable future.