Almost three million disposable vapes estimated to have ended up as litter

ALMOST three million disposable vapes are estimated to have been thrown away as litter in Scotland in the last year – according to a report published today.

It follows a study that found that up to 26 million disposable vapes were consumed and disposed of in the country these last 12 months, of which an estimated ten per cent were littered and more than half were ‘incorrectly’ disposed of.

Says the Scottish Government, here: “The Scottish Government commissioned Zero Waste Scotland [a not-for-profit environmental organisation funded by the Scottish Government] to carry out a review of the environmental impact of single use vapes and potential policy options for addressing the problems that they cause.

“The review estimates that in the year ending January 2023, there were 543,000 vapers in Scotland – of which 51,000 (nine per cent) were under 16 and 78,000 (14 per cent) were under 18. Most under 18 e-cigarette users prefer single use vapes.

“Environmental impacts highlighted by the review include the waste impact of littering; risks associated with unsafe disposal of their contents; and greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption generated in their manufacture.

“Total emissions associated with disposable vapes in 2022 are estimated to have been up to 4,292 tonnes CO2e – the equivalent of around 2,100 cars on Scotland’s roads. The lithium batteries used in the most popular disposable vapes could be recharged up to 500 times if the product design allowed.”

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland

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