Electronic Cigarettes: Recycling

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 19 September 2023.

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Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to increase public awareness of the correct way to recycle disposable vapes.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government is very concerned about the environmental impacts of disposable vapes and will shortly publish a response to its call for evidence on vaping which close in June. All electrical waste should be properly disposed and recycled to protect our environment. This includes disposable vapes.

Retailers that sell over £100,000 of electrical equipment per year are obliged to provide in-store takeback of electrical items, including vapes, under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations. Smaller businesses can choose to contribute funds to the distributor takeback scheme instead to ensure vapes are recycled correctly. All vapes that are deposited at household waste and recycling centres will be collected and treated and the costs of doing this will be met by vape producers.

Consumers that wish to dispose of their old vapes should either take them to their local authority household waste recycling centre or to a retailer who sells vapes, if they offer in-store take-back, for onward treatment.

Material Focus is running a UK-wide campaign to make it easier for everyone recycle their unwanted electricals, including vapes. They provide an electricals recycling locator, which shows the nearest location for consumers to recycle their unwanted electricals.

Our Environmental Improvement Plan sets out our plan to review rules for waste electricals this year. As part of this, we will consider what changes in legislation are needed to make it simpler for householders to recycle their unwanted electricals, including vapes.

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