E-Waste Challenge in the UK: One Million Single-Use Vapes Discarded Every WeekJuly 27, 2023
Proper Management and Recycling of Disposable VapesNovember 8, 2023
Did you know that each year, a whopping 143 million vapes are discarded? Well, we’ve got some exciting news! Recover, in partnership with Elfbar, has stepped up to tackle this waste issue head-on. They’re launching a service to collect these discarded vapes from retailers and transport them to a dedicated disassembly and recycling facility. This facility will extract the valuable materials inside, including lithium, cobalt, nickel, and manganese, and also safely recycle and incinerate the non-recyclable material and hazardous materials.
The benefits of this new initiative are huge for the UK! By recycling these devices, we could save more than ten tonnes of lithium that could be repurposed into new products. And just to put that into perspective, that’s enough metal to manufacture batteries for 1,200 electric cars! Furthermore, recycling lithium would save up to 72 tonnes of carbon emissions when compared to using raw materials. This is because producing one tonne of lithium from ore releases around nine tonnes of CO2 emissions – that’s a lot!
But it’s not just about the lithium. The vapes also contain other materials, such as metals, plastic, and hazerdous waste. Recover’s comprehensive recycling process includes manual dismantling, segregation, cleaning, disposal and specialist recycling of these materials, giving them a new lease of life.
To keep things running smoothly and safely, Recover will provide retailers with battery bins accompanied with individual containers filled with vermiculite, a mineral known for its fire-retarding properties. This means the lithium-ion batteries found in vapes will be safely stored and transported, minimising fire risks.
Eco-conscious retailers currently on board are My Cigaro, Tidal Vape and Evapo. Currently Recover is setting up drop-off points at around 180+ stores nationwide (as of June 2023, this number is set to swell), where you can recycle your used vapes.
Currently, vapes and disposable e-cigarettes fall under Category 7, Toys, Leisure and Sports Equipment, of the UK’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations. But Recover, together with Elfbar, strongly supports the Environment Agency’s intention to give vapes their own product category. Why? Because vapes pose unique challenges for dismantling and recycling, especially as they contain hazardous materials like lithium and nicotine.
So there you have it, folks! Thanks to Recover and Elfbar, the vape recycling revolution has begun. Let’s do our part in turning the tide on vape waste!
How We Can Help
Our Disposable Vape
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.