Thank you for contacting me about disposable vapes and the impact they have on the environment.
I share your concerns about disposable e-cigarettes being littered in the streets of our towns and countryside. The scale of the waste of disposable vapes in the UK is shocking, with around five million disposable vapes thrown away every week. Many of the disposable vapes thrown away each week are not recycled properly and are instead littered or discarded with residual waste.
The Government has launched a public consultation on the Prime Minister’s proposals. The consultation includes proposals to restrict child-friendly flavours and bright coloured packaging. These proposals will be of major benefit to the environment by tackling a particularly problematic waste stream. The consultation is open to anyone who wishes to make their views known. It is open until 6th December 2023 and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/creating-a-smokefree-generation-and-tackling-youth-vaping/creating-a-smokefree-generation-and-tackling-youth-vaping-your-views#how-to-respond
Under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations, producers of electrical and electronic equipment, including vapes, are required to take financial responsibility for the collection, and proper treatment the products that they place on the market when those products become waste at household waste recycling centres or are returned to retailers. Consumers that wish to dispose of their old vapes can take them to their local authority household waste recycling centre. I am informed that all vapes that are deposited at household waste and recycling centres will be collected and treated.
Finally, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has commissioned research which will better understand the market for, and environmental impacts of, disposable vapes and associated cost inputs. I will continue to follow this issue closely.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
With best wishes,
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking