Vape pens also known as e-cigarettes have become very popular. Created in 2003, these small electrical devices heat liquid to become vapour. Using different flavours mixed with nicotine, they are the new alternative to traditional cigarettes.
There are many issues with vape pens and everything that goes with them. Millions if not billions of vape paraphernalia is discarded every year. And unfortunately careless disposal causes a real impact to the environment.
Sort answer, no! You should never put your vape pen directly into the general waste bin. Vapes contain multiple materials and chemicals which need to be disposed of independently. They contain hazardous waste such as batteries and nicotine. These must be disposed of correctly as the chemicals inside can contaminate landfill. Lithium ion batteries, often used in vapes, have previously been linked to causing explosions at recycling centres. This happens when they have not been segregated correctly.
Vapes are not built with recyclability or disposability in mind. And they are in fact very hard to dispose of, if you want to do so correctly. Vape paraphernalia is being inappropriately disposed of, potentially in its million, every day. Correct disposal of a vape means taking the time to considerately recycle each part separately.
There are multiple types of vape pen. But all use a relatively comparable system with similar components. Here is a basic way to break down your vape device for recycling.
Warning: Take care when dismantling your vape pen. It will contain sharp components and hazardous liquids.
Vaping has a clear negative impact on the environment; whether it's from the production, use or disposal of these products. Every element contributes to harming the planet. There is an argument for vaping being better than smoking normal cigarettes. However e-cigarettes have been around for a fraction of the time. And therefore their impact has still to be fully measured. The lack of recycling ability and knowledge for people that vape is highly irresponsible. Companies producing and selling vape paraphernalia need to be held accountable. And find ways to reduce the waste their products produce.
Vapes are clearly a big problem when it comes to the environment. Being able to dispose of or recycle a vape correctly seems to be a nearly impossible task. Or at least one that will take up a lot of your time. Giving up Vaping is by far the best option; but of course easier said than done. If you do vape, just be mindful of the harm it can cause to the planet. And try to do as much as you can to lessen your impact.