Recycling Company, UK
1.3 million disposable (single-use) vapes are thrown away every week, enough to cover 22 football pitches every year. The number of vapes thrown away are contributing to the fastest-growing waste stream in the UK with over 155,000 tonnes of electrical waste thrown away every year and 527 million electrical items hoarded in UK homes, according to new research commissioned by Material Focus.
The problem with disposable vapes
The number of vapes bought is part of a growing phenomenon in the UK with half a billion now bought each year, with almost a fifth of UK adults having bought either a single-use, rechargeable, or rechargeable with a single-use chamber vape. The research has also identified that single use vapes are particularly problematic with nearly 14 million single-use vapes bought each month, rising to 167.5 million a year, all with no clear method to dispose of or recycle the sold vapes.
The research found that over 50% of disposable vapes are thrown away, compared to 33% on average for all types of vapes. Single-use vapes are one of the most popular types of vapes to be bought alongside rechargeable vapes. 37% of people who bought vapes in the last year bought a single-use vape, and this increases to 52% for 18-34 year olds.
Recover has begun to solve this issue and help the UK clean up and responsibly recycle these disposable vape products
Our Disposable Vape
Services & Solutions:
Custom Disposable vape bins
Recover can supply and customise in-store bins to suit your needs. Working with product designers and bin suppliers we can ensure that the bin suits your stores style.
In-Store Vape Bin Collections
Recover as a company is founded on the collection of Lithium-ion batteries and lithium-powered devices, we are now focused on disposable vapes as a service niche.
Safety advise & best practice
We understand the dangers and challenges that arise from storing lithium-ion products, especially end-of-life products. Our team will ensure training is carried out to ensure the safety of your stores.
100% UK Recycling
Recover recycles all our collected vapes within the UK. We work with an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) in Wales, and no raw waste is exported abroad for recycling.
Disposable Vape Recycling Reports
We can offer your business standardised collection and recycling reports as part of our offering. We can also offer to customise these reports to be business specific for a fee.
WEEE Approved Recycling Standards
UK laws categorise disposable vapes as waste electrical and electronic equipment, known as WEEE. This means manufacturers of these products have responsibilities to ensure they are recycled.
Disposable Vape Recycling Schemes
In response to the UK Government’s call for vaping brands to address the environmental impact of disposable vapes, Recover is taking action and offering businesses a disposable vape recycling solution.
Recycling Bins Tailored to Your Needs
Scheduled & Recorded Collections
Disassembly within the UK
Recycling & Reuse
What can be recycled from a disposable vape?
Vapes contain a range of materials which when thrown away the materials contained inside them are lost forever. Although vapes are covered in plastic, the lithium inside the battery forms a key material hidden inside the vapes. Each single-use vapes contains on average 0.15g of lithium and with over 1.3 million single-use vapes thrown away every week this accumulates to 10 tonnes of lithium a year, equivalent to the lithium in batteries inside 1,200 electric vehicles.
Throwing away vapes means that we are throwing away some of the most precious materials on our planet.
A key part of the problem is that vapes are advertised as disposable. Producers and retailers need to work together to ensure that they should make people aware that vapes should never be binned and instead be recycled.
Recover aims to make recycling easier and offer manufacturers and retailers a solution by adding collection points in-stores across the UK.
Why Disposable vapes should never be thrown into general waste
Lithium batteries that are thrown away can cause fires, these fires have the potential to endanger the public and waste truck operators by causing fires on streets, and waste centres across the UK and costing local councils millions of pounds. If batteries, or electricals containing batteries, end up inside bins or recycling lorries with other materials then they are crushed in the waste and recycling process.
This increases the chances that they could be punctured and self-combust, setting fire to dry and flammable waste and recycling around them.
Disposable Vape Recycling
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can you put disposable vapes in the bin at home?
Disposable vapes should never be put in a domestic or public bin as the batteries can pose a fire risk. Instead use our recycling service or visit your household waste recycling centre and dispose of them in the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) receptacle.
Is it safe to throw away disposable elfbar vapes in my regular bin if I can't recycle them?
No, it's not advisable to throw disposable vapes in your regular rubbish bin. Disposable vapes contain a battery and other components that can be hazardous if not disposed of correctly. Therefore, they should be recycled at designated e-waste facilities or returned to the manufacturer or retailer if they offer a recycling program.
Can You Recycle Elfbar Vapes?
Yes. You can recycle Elf bars at your local participating Recover Store as part of our vape recycling scheme. We dissasemble each vape and reuse or reycle all the parts.
Is it legal to recycle disposable vapes in the UK?
Yes, it's not only legal, but it's also strongly encouraged. The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive in the UK classifies electronic cigarettes as "small mixed WEEE," meaning they should be properly recycled to reduce their environmental impact. Remember, it's not appropriate to throw disposable vapes into regular household rubbish bins.
Can I recycle the e-liquid or nicotine residue left in a disposable vape?
No, e-liquid or nicotine residue should not be disposed of in regular recycling or waste bins due to its potentially harmful nature. When you recycle a disposable vape at an appropriate facility, they'll handle this component safely. Never attempt to remove or drain e-liquid yourself at home. It's best to leave it to the professionals to ensure it's disposed of properly.
Do all disposable vapes contain the same components that need recycling?
While there might be slight differences in design between different brands or models, most disposable vapes contain similar components that need recycling. This typically includes a battery, a heating element, and a cartridge containing e-liquid. These parts, particularly the battery, need to be recycled properly to prevent environmental damage.
What are the environmental benefits of recycling disposable vapes?
Recycling disposable vapes reduces the number of harmful materials that end up in our landfill sites. The batteries in vapes contain heavy metals like nickel, cadmium, and cobalt which, if left in landfills, can leach into the ground and contaminate soil and water. By recycling, we ensure that these materials are safely recovered and repurposed, reducing the demand for mining new materials and thus protecting our environment.
Where else can i recycle vapes?
You can also take your used vapes to a local recycling facility. Details of these can be found on your local council website.
Are there any risks or challenges associated with recycling disposable vapes?
The primary challenges with recycling disposable vapes relate to the e-liquid and battery inside them. The nicotine in e-liquid is a hazardous substance, and the batteries can pose a fire risk if not handled correctly. However, these challenges are addressed by proper handling and safety measures at professional recycling facilities. It's important that consumers do not attempt to disassemble or tamper with these devices themselves, but rather take them to a designated recycling facility or use a return program provided by the manufacturer or retailer.