Disposable vape pens are single use products that have a short life. They are to be discarded once either the liquid has run out or the battery is exhausted. They seem like the simplest type of vape to own and get rid of. However to dispose of one in the correct sustainable way is a lot trickier than it sounds.
Can I put my disposable vape in the bin?
You must NOT throw disposable vape pens in the general rubbish. The harmful chemicals found in vape pen batteries and the nicotine can contaminate landfill. These contaminants have been known to cause explosions when mixed with the wrong sorts of waste.
Disposable vape recycling
It's not as easy as taking used vape pens to a recycling centre and being done with it. To actually recycle a vape pens correctly, takes a lot of effort. As they are just a single use unit; they are sealed in a way to do precisely that. They have not been made with detachable parts in mind. However too properly recycle a vape pen it will need to be fully dismantled.
- Take out the battery - This will need to be disposed of at a battery bank or recycling centre.
- Separate the cartridge from the outer case - If the cartridge has been used with nicotine it is then classed as hazardous waste and needs to be disposed of at a suitable facility.
- Outer case and metal components - These parts can be taken to your local recycling centre. Separate and recycle accordingly.
Electronic waste recycling companies
Ever heard of an E-waste recycling company? They take a variety of old electronic waste, dismantle it and recycle it. This is great as it is the best option for your unwanted vape. And is one of the more hassle free options. However there are not currently a large number of E-waste companies that will take disposable vape pens. But it is worth checking out if you have one in your local area. There does seem to be an increase in these companies though, as the demand starts to grow.
Take back program
See if the place you purchased it from has a take back program. Companies are starting to realise they need to become more environmentally sustainable. Users don't want to be so damaging to the planet; and want easy solutions. Some have partnered with E-waste recycling companies to take back your used pens.
You should always try to avoid the use of disposable vape pens. They have the biggest negative impact on the environment, out of all the vape products. They are also the hardest to dispose of in a sustainable way. Better ways to recycle reusable vapes will hopefully come out in the future. But opt for a reusable vape in the meantime. It is considerably better for the environment and a lot less hassle for you.