‘Over 90%’ of vape retailers and producers failing to meet environmental regulations

New research from Material Focus states that “over 90%” of UK vape retailers and producers are “still” failing to meet environmental regulations ahead of the proposed 2025 ban.

Material Focus has revealed a concerning projection: if the 12-month lead-in period to the vape ban announced on January 29, 2024, holds, an estimated quarter of a billion single-use vapes could be discarded. The not-for-profit organization emphasizes the urgency for “immediate action,” stressing that retailers and producers are failing to fulfill their legal obligation to cover the costs of vape collection and recycling.

Research conducted by Material Focus among 764 retailers across 13 UK cities reveals alarming findings. Despite legal obligations in place since January 1, 2021, only 11% of retailers provided recycling points for vapes. Additionally, vape drop-off points were available in only 33% of 57 specialist vape retailers. High street brands, according to Material Focus, offered minimal to no recycling drop-off points for vapes.

A comprehensive analysis of over 165 prominent vape and vape juice producers in the UK revealed startling statistics: only 15 companies had registered to comply with environmental regulations for producer responsibility concerning waste electricals, portable batteries, and packaging. All identified companies are reportedly members of vape industry trade associations such as the UKVIA or IBVTA and have registered their products with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Material Focus’s analysis further highlights the potential financial burden on producers if all 360 million disposable single-use vapes purchased annually in the UK were to be recycled, estimating costs of up to £200 million per year.

Scott Butler, executive director of Material Focus, expressed dismay over the lack of progress, stressing the clear environmental responsibilities of vape producers and retailers. He emphasizes the need for a robust recycling system to manage the impending surge in vape disposals ahead of the 2025 single-use vape ban, urging proactive measures to collect and recycle these products effectively.

For individuals seeking information on vape recycling and locating recycling points, Material Focus directs them to visit www.recycleyourelectricals.org.uk.

source: https://www.letsrecycle.com/news/over-90-of-vape-retailers-and-producers-failing-to-meet-environmental-regulations/

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