Your Vaping Habit Is Killing the Environment

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Disposable vapes have become all the rage. They come in fruity flavours, and pretty colours that make them look like crayons, and they make your night fun for the night. However, the rise of disposable vapes is having an adverse effect on the environment.

Disposable Vapes

Vaping has been posed as the perfect solution for long-term smokers both in a health sense and also on the environmental side.

The vast majority of cigarette butts are made from single-use plastic and contain hundreds of toxic chemicals once smoked such as formaldehyde and arsenic. These chemicals remain inside the buds once smoked and littered cigarette buds can persist in the environment for many years and release these chemicals to air, land and water, harming plant growth and wildlife.

Thus, because vapes don’t have this element that traditional cigarettes have, they are seen as better. However, this is not necessarily the case.

How Are Vapes Bad for the Environment?

If it were that everyone was using reusable and refillable vapes then yes, vaping is better for the environment than cigarettes. However, the popularity of vapes comes from disposable vapes. 600 puffs and throw them away for a new flavour.

It even states on disposable vape labels that they cannot be just thrown away into the bin with normal garbage and because vape companies as well as retailers don-t make it clear how we should properly recycle vapes, they just end up in landfills. Once in landfills, vape pens can leak even worse chemicals than those in cigarette buds such as metals, battery acid and flammable lithium-ion.

Disposable Vapes thrown away

To further add, these pens are made of plastic and thus it takes hundreds of years for plastic to break down naturally, and even once it has broken down, the microplastics can stick around, leaking into the ground soil, water etc.

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Just to give a bit more context of how many vapes one person could go through, one vape contains 600 puffs, equivalent to one pack of cigarettes. For a pack-a-day smoker, that’s one vape a day, 52 vapes a year, which end up in landfills.

A vape thrown in a landfill

According to a report from Future Market Insights, the global disposable vape market is expected to reach $6.34 billion by the end of 2022. By 2032 this number will hit $18.32 billion. This indicates that the appetite for vaping will not go away anytime soon.

How to Properly Dispose of Your Vapes & Eco-Friendly Alternatives

The main problem with disposable vapes is the lack of awareness on how to properly dispose of them. Even though it clearly states on the packaging not to throw them in the bin, how is the everyday user supposed to know to recycle them? Only 15% of e-cigarette users reported disposing of empty pods or disposable vapes by dropping them off or sending them for electronic recycling.

So there are two main ways you can dispose of your vapes:

  1. Electrical Recycling Bins- either curbside pickup or via a household recycling centre
  2. Supermarket Battery Recycling Bins

To learn more about recycling your disposable vapes check out this article: Disposing of your disposables: How to responsibly recycle your single-use vape bars

My message to everyone using disposable vapes, I understand that they are fun and they don’t give off the same negative effect as smoking. I have also used disposable vapes, and I too did not understand the environmental repercussions of using these colourful pens. However, after diving into research on their environmental impact, I realized how bad this generation’s vaping habit has become.

So, I implore you, regular smokers and social smokers, to invest in refillable pods, and educate yourselves about the environmental footprint that comes with vaping. As the next generation, we have already expressed that the environment is the top of our concerns, however, we are also the largest group of vape users in the world. A change in our use of vapes will be a good step in the right direction to accomplishing those goals.

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