Global circular economy specialist Reconomy has launched a new “circular” recycling service for disposable vapes.
The new service provides customers with a dedicated storage container to collect used disposable vapes before transporting them to a specialist recycling facility for processing, Reconomy says.
The vapes are sorted by hand into different brands before batch processing. Following this, the end of the cap is removed and the contents of the vape are ejected and separated so that the valuable plastics and metals can be appropriately processed and recovered, Reconomy says.
Reconomy says the batteries are then sent to an Approved Battery Treatment Operator or Approved Battery Exporter for recycling and the wick, filter and nicotine are incinerated as per The Environment Agency’s requirements.
Vapes have become a major threat to the environment and pose a dangerous fire risk.
Valpak, a Reconomy company, already offers a vape takeback scheme which provides vape retailers in the UK with a “fully compliant” collection and recycling service. As part of the scheme, customers return their single-use vape to the retailer where it is then collected and taken to a recycling facility for material recovery, reuse and end-of-life treatment.
David Seal-Yates, Reconomy’s Head of Circular Solutions, commented: “Vapes have become a major threat to the environment and pose a dangerous fire risk, so we need to manage their disposal urgently.
“Reconomy’s new recycling capability will address these issues, helping our customers and the wider environment by ensuring lithium and other harmful materials contained within disposable vapes aren’t finding their way to landfill sites.”
After two separate bin lorries caught fire within an hour of each other in August, the fire service warned the public about the dangers of disposing of lithium batteries in household waste bins.