Posted: Sat 15th Jul 2023

Ban single-use vapes to save environment and protect children, councils urge

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Jul 15th, 2023

Councils across Wales and England are calling for a nationwide ban on single-use vapes such as Elf bars and Lost Mary by 2024, citing environmental and health concerns.

The Local Government Association (LGA), representing these councils, believes the ban is necessary to avoid a possible influx of disposable vapes into the UK.

The European Union is proposing a ban in 2026, while France is due to implement a ban in December 2023.

“Single-use vapes are a waste hazard and cause fires in bin lorries,” warned the LGA.

Designed as a single unit, the vapes’ batteries cannot be separated from the plastic, making them virtually impossible to recycle without special treatment.

The lithium batteries encased within the plastic can dangerously increase in temperature if crushed and potentially become flammable, posing additional risks.

With 1.3 million disposable vapes discarded every week, they have also become a common item of litter on UK streets.

This issue extends beyond mere aesthetics; the environmental toll and damage to council equipment come at a significant cost to taxpayers.

Children and young people’s health is another primary concern for the councils. There is increasing apprehension about the number of children, who have never smoked, turning to vaping.

Councils are particularly disturbed by the vapes’ colourful, child-friendly packaging and appealing flavours, such as fruity and bubble gum options.

They are calling for stricter regulations on the display and marketing of vaping products akin to those governing tobacco.

“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,” stated Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board.

He added, however, that disposable vapes are “fundamentally flawed in their design and inherently unsustainable products.”

The LGA Chairman made it clear that an outright ban on single-use vapes would be more effective than efforts to increase recycling.

He called on the Government to act, highlighting the vapes’ appeal to children, potential fire hazards, and expensive recycling processes.

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

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