LONDON – Councils in England and Wales have called on the UK government to ban the sale of single use vapes by 2024 on both environmental and health grounds.
The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils in England and Wales, said it was crucial a ban came into effect rapidly, as with the European Union proposing a ban in 2026 and France rolling out a ban in December this year, there was a risk that as markets close disposable vapes could flood into the UK.
The LGA said 1.3 million disposable vapes were thrown away every week. They were a hazard for waste and litter collection and caused fires in bin lorries.
It said single use vapes were designed as one unit so batteries cannot be separated from the plastic, making them almost impossible to recycle without going through special treatment.
The LGA said councils were also concerned about the impact vaping was having upon children and young people.
“Disposable vapes are fundamentally flawed in their design and inherently unsustainable products, meaning an outright ban will prove more effective than attempts to recycle more vapes,” David Fothergill, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said.
The UK Vaping Industry Association defended disposable vapes.
“Disposables have been around for well over a decade and provide a low priced accessible product that helps smokers to quit smoking tobacco,” John Dunne, the association’s director general told BBC radio on Saturday.
He said the vape industry was working hard to minimise its environmental impact and warned a ban could see more black market products coming into the UK.