Following Glastonbury asking attendees to not bring disposable vapes, the British Metal Recycling Association (BMRA) has called for all festivals to ban single-use e-cigarettes.
As the summer moves into festival season, the BMRA says it is requesting festivals ban disposable vapes on the grounds of safety and fire risk. The Association, which represents the metal recycling sector in the UK, says more fires are occurring due to items containing lithium-ion batteries, like vapes, often due to not being disposed of correctly.
According to research conducted by Eunomia Research & Consulting, it’s estimated that lithium-ion batteries are responsible for around 48% of all waste fires occurring in the UK each year, costing the UK economy around £158 million annually.
Ahead of Glastonbury on 21-25 June, the organisers have updated their guidance to ask festival-goers not to bring disposable vapes, stating they pollute the environment and can be hazardous at waste centres.
CEO of the BMRA, James Kelly, says the Association welcomes the move by Glastonbury festival and would like to see other festivals follow suit to increase site safety this summer. Kelly also said, “at the very least”, the BMRA wants to see disposal bins for vapes at festivals.
We have seen the devastation of fires at member sites caused by lithium-ion batteries being placed in the incorrect waste stream.
He commented: “We have seen the devastation of fires at member sites caused by lithium-ion batteries being placed in the incorrect waste stream and we would hate to see this occur at a summer festival.
“Another reason, often forgotten, is the fact that lithium-ion batteries can be recycled. Critical raw materials can be drawn from the batteries to be used again, including lithium, graphite, cobalt and nickel. This not only saves natural habitats from being mined, but also the huge amounts of energy needed to process new metal mined from ore.
“With more and more UK-based lithium-ion recycling facilities opening, and the increased opportunities to recycle the batteries, we think there are plenty of options for festivals to provide such recycling amenities.”