We urge UK Government to ban disposable vapes

Our work to combat climate change and tackle litter and waste links to the ambitions of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One of the SDGs we strongly align to through our campaign work is SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production.  

Disposable vapes or e-cigarettes not only increase unnecessary consumption and production, contributing to climate change, but they are also increasingly being recorded as litter. 

This is why we have signed an open letter with 16 other organisations calling on the UK Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey and Health Secretary Steve Barclay to ban the sale of single-use e-cigarettes.  

Among the 16 other organisations are Green Alliance, Marine Conservation Society, ASH Scotland, RSPCA and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.  

At #TeamKSBScot, we, and our volunteer litter pickers, have recorded an increase in vape-related waste. We have been working with ASH Scotland and the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) to tackle cigarette litter across Scotland, but e-cigarettes are becoming an increasingly common item of litter. This echoes the finding that there are “1.3 million single use vapes thrown away every week” in the UK which equates to two vapes every second. You can find out more in the guest-blog by climate activist and environmental scientist Laura Young (Less Waste Laura) here. Laura has also signed the open letter.  

In the letter we collectively “strongly urge the government to ban disposable e-cigarettes and believe the easiest way to do so is by adding them to the list of plastics that are prohibited as part of a shift away from single use culture. 

“Decisive action from the UK government now could prevent this emerging environmental problem from becoming a major issue, and head off a health crisis among young people. This decision would not hinder people who choose to use vapes to quit smoking, as reusable vapes are readily available”. 

You can read the full letter here. Follow the social media campaign by using #BanDisposableVapes.

25 November 2022

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