Councils call for ban on single-use vapes

Councils are calling on the UK Government to ban the sale and manufacturing of single-use vapes by 2024 on the grounds of the environment and public health. The Local Government Association (LGA) – which represents councils in England and Wales – says it is crucial that the ban comes into effect rapidly.

Single-use vapesThe calls first came last week (14 July) and have now been backed by the National Association of Waste Disposal Officers (NAWDO) and the RSPCA.

Currently, the EU has a proposed ban on single-use vapes that would be implemented in 2026. A ban will come into effect in France in December this year. The LGA says that the bans risk flooding the single-use vape market in the UK – hence the need for swift action.

The non-removable lithium batteries embodied in plastic vapes can sharply increase in temperature when crushed and become flammable. According to the LGA, 1.3 million single-use vapes are thrown away every week.

Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board said: “Councils are not anti-vapes, which are shown to be less harmful than smoking and have a place as a tool to use in smoking cessation.

“However, disposable vapes are fundamentally flawed in their design and inherently unsustainable products, meaning an outright ban will prove more effective than attempts to recycle more vapes.

“Single-use vapes blight our streets as litter, are a hazard in our bin lorries, are expensive and difficult to deal with in our recycling centres. Their colours, flavours and advertising are appealing to children and the penalties for retailers selling them don’t go far enough.

“Councils urge the Government to take this action to protect our planet, keep children safe and save taxpayers money.”

NAWDO – which represents 80 per cent of UK local authorities – says that single-use vapes are a hazard for collection crews, waste management facilities and its operatives.

Alongside a ban, the Association is calling for a robust collection system under extended producer responsibility (EPR) to deal with vapes that are stil leftl in circulation. NAWDO wants to work constructively with the government on this issue and says that it would welcome the opportunity to engage further on the opportunities available to tackle this important issue.

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