How to safely and responsibly dispose of Disposable Vapes

The UK’s waste problem & Disposables

It’s not news to anyone that modern society faces a huge problem when it comes to managing our waste, and with a growing population and dwindling resources, we should all aim to do our part to minimise our personal impact on the environment. The government estimates that 63.2% of packaging waste was recycled in 2021, with England alone responsible for 33.8 million tonnes and an increase in fly tipping of 16%.

Alarmingly, cigarette butts are the most common form of litter globally, also adding to pollution when discarded due to the content of particulates stored in them, not to mention the toxic fumes released when they’re smoked. In order to help inform our customers of this growing crisis and assist in reducing waste in the vaping industry, we’ve put a few tips and figures together below. Disposable vapes are only a couple of years old now but over 1.3 million are making their way into landfill or incineration, making them a full-blown environmental disaster.

What’s worse is that because there’s no real way to dispose of them properly and easily, whether you’re environmentally conscious or not they represent a poor option when it comes to vaping. When discarded they can leak heavy metals coming from the battery as well as battery acid, nicotine (which is highly toxic to many organisms) and single use plastic.

How Vapers can do their part to reduce environmental waste

The most obvious and simple means to do your part if you want to help reduce your waste-footprint is to simply dispose of disposable vapes altogether and move onto a more sustainable option. Sustainable, more environmentally friendly vapes have been around since the dawn of the industry but due to the demand for convenience and clever marketing, disposables took the entire world by storm and now dominate the market almost utterly. Despite the best efforts of countless vape shops and ecommerce businesses, disposables still reign number one and are producing daily news articles and even discussion on tv shows etc.

Fear not, for there’s a great number of far better options when it comes to vaping and we even introduced a handy bundle to give you a months supply of E Liquid along with a great selection of devices to choose from. We dubbed it the “Disposable Killer Starter Kit“. This kit provides you with one of the best devices we can find, paired with 5 x 10ml of the cheapest nic salts in the UK: Our Pocket Salt range.

This is a super simple setup designed to take the thinking out of the equation for you. If you’ve started vaping using disposables, this is the perfect kit to get you off them. See below for a visual comparison.

How to dispose of disposable vapes responsibly

It’s still indeed possible to dispose of disposable vapes in a responsible manner. Thanks to the efforts of various businesses and environmental initiatives, there are battery bins located in various neighbourhoods throughout the country, designed for battery recycling which are also suitable for you to dispose of your disposable vapes. Some disposable vapes are actually fully recyclable like the Riot Squad Q Bar.

Being an entry-level vaping product designed to get people to quit smoking, disposable vapes have done a great thing in this regard but have inadvertently created a real environmental crisis. Luckily there’s much talk in the news about this very topic and it seems likely that the government will eventually introduce legislation to tackle the issue, perhaps even banning them totally as of next year.

Alternatives to Disposable Vapes

As discussed above briefly, there are a number of great alternatives to disposables and most come in the form of a “pod kit” which we discuss in depth in our blog post about them here. Pod kits offer a hassle free vaping experience without the throw-away aspect. They’re rechargeable, refillable and far more environmentally friendly as well as much more affordable.

Pod Kits

Pod Kits are a simple and affordable alternative to disposable vapes, similar in size but more capable and much more greener (not literally – they come in lots of different colours!). Most Pod Kits are refillable and the pod itself can be replaced once the coil has past it’s prime, meaning you’re not throwing away an entire device after vaping a mere 2ml of E Liquid. Depending on the E Liquid you use, you can get up to a month out of a pod before you need to replace it. There’s no real learning curve to them which makes them the next step up from disposables and one we’re keen to push due to their effectiveness and practicality.

Refillable Tanks

Refillable Tanks

Refillable tanks have been around for many years and have seen a big change since their inception but the concept remains: refill it and replace the coil when required. They’re a great option for those looking for a bit more power and vapour, as well as flavour. Since you only change the coil and not the whole pod, they’re close to the greenest option available to any vaper behind a full-on rebuildable atomizer which comes next.

Rebuildable atomisers

Rebuildable tanks

Rebuildable atomisers represent the most environmentally friendly option available. No part of the tank besides the coil is disposable or designed for short term use. With care, a rebuildable tank can last many years. This option is for those with experience and basic knowledge of Ohms law which we covered in our “ultimate guide to vaping” article. Rebuilding a coil requires some patience and a little research to get it right. It involves wrapping a resistance wire like Nickel into a coil with 2 legs. A wicking medium like cotton is then inserted into the coil and delivers E Liquid to the coil to be atomised.

Because of the fully DIY aspect of this option, it’s by far the cheapest in the long run but in order to benefit from this you’ll need to be willing to get your hands dirty.

Dispose of Disposable Vapes and general packaging

To dispose of disposable vapes and general packaging is to take a good step in the right direction and one we feel more need to take. They’re not a great option for environmental and financial reasons and they’re very difficult to dispose of correctly, so we recommend people simply make the switch to avoid the problem completely. Even if recycled, the better option is to reuse and this is where pod kits and reusable vapes come into play. Disposing of general vape packaging whether disposable or not is important for the betterment of our environment and we always look for ways to do our part as a business and an authority in the DIY E Liquid market.

Conclusion

Disposable vapes have helped a great many people to stop smoking, but have also caused an environmental disaster. It’s something of a double-edged sword but one we hope something good will come out of. In light of the myriad articles covering the hot topic of disposable vapes and how to dispose of disposable vapes, we’re confident the vaping industry will mature and revert to it’s earlier, greener days when E Liquid was the number one product, backed by a diverse array of devices from various manufacturers.