Environmental groups call for ban on disposable vapes


Environmental and health groups have issued an open letter to the environment and health secretaries calling on the Government to ban the sale of single-use e-cigarettes.

18 environment and health groups signed the open letter to Thérèse Coffey and Steve Barclay, including Green Alliance, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Marine Conservation Society and RSPCA.

The signatories are demanding that the Government ban the sale of single-use e-cigarettes to stem their “rapidly escalating threat” to public health and the environment.

The letter also calls the uptake in disposable vape use by young people “particularly concerning”.

Green Alliance says the call follows research from Material Focus that showed that at least 1.3 million disposable vapes are thrown away every week.

The groups argue that disposable vapes are “unnecessary electrical items” that contain single-use plastic, nicotine and batteries, all of which they call “hazardous to the environment and wildlife when littered”.

Ministers must act swiftly to ban disposable vapes to protect young people and our environment.

The letter also highlights that e-cigarettes contain lithium, which they call a critical material for the net zero transition, and is “going to waste” when used in vapes.

The letter says that the easiest way to enforce a ban on disposable e-cigarettes is to add them to the list of prohibited plastics. Signatories also say Defra’s call for evidence on commonly littered and problematic plastic earlier in the year included traditional tobacco filters, but “overlooked the growing threat” of disposable vapes.

Commentating on the open letter, Libby Peake, head of resource policy at Green Alliance, said: “We need to be moving towards durable and reusable products designed sustainably, not inventing new ways to cause harm to the wildlife and wasting valuable resources.

“Ministers must act swiftly to ban disposable vapes to protect young people and our environment from this new and entirely avoidable threat.”

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