Move to ban disposable vapes welcomed by North London Waste Authority

The government announced this week it would be introducing a ban on disposable vapes because of their environmental and health impacts

credit Elsa Olofsson via Unsplash
credit Elsa Olofsson via Unsplash

North London Waste Authority has welcomed government plans to ban “unnecessary and unsustainable” disposable vapes.  

This week’s government announcement acknowledges the impact single-use vapes have on the environment and the health and wellbeing of their target audience.

Due to their complex material composition, disposable vapes are said to be logistically difficult, labour intensive and expensive to recycle.

Five million of them are currently thrown away in the UK each week, up from 1.3 million in 2022. Over a year, the lithium batteries inside could instead power 5,000 electric vehicles.   

Clyde Loakes, chair of North London Waste Authority (NLWA) which covers Enfield, Haringey, Waltham Forest, Barnet, Camden, Hackney and Islington, said: “Disposable vapes are currently contributing to the fastest growing waste stream in the UK. They are polluting our planet and destroying vital resources, with the precious metals they contain being depleted at an unsustainable rate.  

“As the second largest waste authority in the UK, we have been clear that urgent action is needed as the burden of disposal cannot continue to fall on taxpayers, especially when there are reusable alternatives readily available. 

“We’re pleased that the government has acknowledged the positive impact this ban will have on tackling the climate emergency and protecting the environment for future generations, as well as safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our young people.

“If the government is serious about our green transition and moving away from a dangerous throwaway culture, it needs to be ambitious and crack down on the many other wasteful single-use products, from coffee cups to artificial grass. 

“Our voices are stronger together so we are thankful to all those who used our template to complete the government’s consultation and help secure this positive outcome.” 

Last year, NLWA wrote to both the secretary of state for environment and the minister for environment calling for a ban on the sale and manufacture of disposable vapes.  

The authority also created a template response for individuals, businesses and organisations wishing to take part in the government’s smokefree generation consultation. In total, more than 25,000 responses were submitted.  

Residents should take single-use vapes to one of North London’s eight reuse and recycling centres or use a take-back scheme. Due to the battery inside, they are a fire hazard and should not be put in household waste or recycling bins.  

For more information on how to dispose of vapes: