Vaping has recently come under fire for being potentially harmful to the environment. Despite criticism, our data clarifies that vaping is far less harmful for the environment than cigarettes are.
- No evidence of “passive-vaping”
- Vape batteries use Cobalt, but can be recycled
- Using larger format vaping products can stave off environmental harm
Let’s delve deeper and discuss ways in which you can still vape but with an environmentally positive stance. Here’s what a selection of environmental and health experts have to say about eco-friendly vaping.
The Eco-Friendly Vaping Debate
Vaping products are rumoured to be environmentally harmful because of differing factors. First of all, vape devices produce chemicals when we use them. These chemicals are released into the air on the outwards breath. There is growing concern that these may be harmful to the environment. The NHS maintains that no evidence has thus far emerged that confirms vaping harms other people. Certain chemicals can cause issues with your lungs, but all of these are banned here in the UK. This includes chemicals such as Vitamin E Acetate and Diacetyl.
We do not know the exact chemicals contained in vapours on the out breath. More research will enlighten us in the future. What we do know is that vapour contains far less chemicals than the 7,000 known chemicals that cigarette smoke produces.
The second part of the eco-friendly vaping debate lies in the plastics and materials used to make up vape devices. Pod vaping devices use plastic and cardboard packaging for their instant-fill pods. Open tank vape devices use bottles of vape liquid, each of which has a carbon cost.
Thirdly, vape devices use lithium-ion batteries. Anyone who has been paying attention to the electric car debate will already know that these batteries contain cobalt. While this material itself is not hard to find, it comes from mines. Some mines in poorer countries operate under horrific humanitarian circumstances. Media report footage shows miners working deep underground with no safety equipment, in mines that could collapse any second. Worse, some reports show children in these mines.
While mining is harmful to the environment, the mining conditions are the true tragedy of lithium-ion. Until we can bring the mining industries in these countries into line, we need to spread awareness to prevent these working conditions. Since these batteries are used in everything from mobile phones to electric cars and laptops, we need to buy our products, use our products, and dispose of our products, in a responsible way. We produce an annual 50 million tons of tech waste per year. Do your part by recycling.
Tips for Being an Eco-Friendly Vaper
Below, we collated multiple tips for those who wish to mitigate the damage their vaping may or may not do to the environment. If you’d like to reduce the carbon footprint of your vaping experience, read on for expert tips and tricks.
Environmentally Friendlier Vaping Tip 1 - Stay Away from Cigarettes
Cigarettes are terrible for us, but they are far worse for the environment than vape devices are. They are single use, with each cigarette butt containing plastic. There are an estimated 4.5 trillion cigarette butts out in the environment right now. They soak up the toxins from the smoke then, once discarded, these toxins leak into the air and waterways. Some of the harmful chemicals in cigarettes include formaldehyde, tar, and arsenic. Some of the radioactive chemicals in cigarettes include lead, uranium, and polonium 210.
Cigarette litter costs the UK government upwards of £40 million per year to clean up. The UK government are so desperate to ease the strain on the NHS that smoking causes, that they are encouraging a nationwide switch to e-cigarettes. Part of their reasoning for doing this, is that vape devices are less harmful for the environment. Let’s be absolutely clear, however, that we are discussing reusable vape devices here.
Environmentally Friendlier Vaping Tip 2 – Always Choose Reusable Vape Devices
Disposable vape devices use multiple times the amount of single use plastics than reusable vaping devices. Although the initial cost of these devices is lower, you pay more over time for less product. You should always dispose of these in recycling centres.
Reusable vaping devices still use plastics, heavy metals, and nicotine, but they are not single use. The longer you use your vape device for, the better the return on the carbon cost to make it. Vape juice bottles are usually plastic but you can recycle most of them once cleaned. We will discuss how to do that later.
If you need to make the switch and don’t know where to turn, take a look at our new vape kits products, here.
Environmentally Friendlier Vaping Tip 3 – Larger Format Products Have Less Waste
Since the larger format vape products last longer, they are more worthy of the carbon cost to create them. Larger tanks and batteries take longer to leak and wear down. Disposable vape products are the worst type of vape device for the environment because all of their parts are single use. A reusable, larger device, will last you a long time, thus saving the components from release into the ecosystem.
Larger vape bottles are a good substitute if you cannot switch to a larger device. A bigger bottle means more product before it has to go through the recycling process. Vape juices come in all sizes, from 2ml pods right up to 50ml nicotine-free bottles. If you need replacements, you can check out these vape juices that we currently have.
Environmentally Friendlier Vaping Tip 4 – Use Recycling Centres for Old Batteries
The UK government provides recycling centres up and down the country. You should not put your old vape device or cartridges in your regular refuse collection bins. You can find out when your recycling pickups are here if you live in England and Wales. You should have a recycling centre near you too, where you can take used vape devices and batteries.
Although vape devices are difficult to recycle, they are not impossible. The UK government has recycling targets which they consistently fail to meet. However, they are duty bound to try. You can take old vape pods, devices, batteries, and vape juice bottles here. You can put vape juice bottles in your regular recycling bin if you clean it thoroughly. Let’s talk about how we do that without allowing the contents to leak into the water table.
Environmentally Friendlier Vaping Tip 5 – Smart Disposal of E-Liquids
Over in the USA, the government has decided that vape devices must be disposed of as hazardous waste. They attribute this to the harmful chemicals inside a vape. Remember, the US government
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