Scotland Government-Backed Report Calls to Ban Disposable Vapes

Government-funded environmental group urges consideration of ban on single use disposable vapes

scotland disposable vape ban

Government-funded environmental group urges consideration of ban on single use disposable vapes

The issue of single use disposable vapes has reached a critical point in Scotland, with a government-backed report calling for immediate action. Zero Waste Scotland, a not-for-profit group, has highlighted the urgent need to address the growing concern of e-cigarette littering and its detrimental impact on the environment. The report, prepared by Zero Waste Scotland and Dr. Dominic Hogg of Equanimator Ltd, sheds light on the alarming scale of the problem and presents a range of potential policy options to mitigate the issue effectively.

The Rising Tide of Single Use Vapes

The surge in sales revenues of single-use vapes through grocery outlets between October 2022 and March has drawn significant attention to the issue. The report also reveals that an estimated 67% of users are under the age of twenty-five, and a concerning 10% of the e-cigarettes are littered. Moreover, the batteries used in some popular vapes have the capacity to be recharged up to 500 times, emphasizing the long-lasting impact of these products on the environment.

The Environmental and Health Concerns

The report underlines the environmental impacts and health issues associated with the use of single-use e-cigarettes worldwide. It cites numerous jurisdictions that have already implemented or are considering bans on sales, with some restricting only flavored e-cigarettes. While health concerns have primarily driven action to limit the use of single-use e-cigarettes, the report highlights the increasing prominence of environmental concerns in the public’s consciousness as these products gain market share.

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The Enrivronmental Impact of Disposable Vape

Policy Options for a Sustainable Solution

The report outlines nine policy options, each with the potential to influence environmental outcomes. These options include a ban on the sale of single use vapes, mandatory removal and replacement of batteries, and a tax linked to recycling performance. Additional measures proposed include a levy payable by the customer, a ban on flavored e-cigarettes, and stricter enforcement of existing laws against underage sales. The report suggests that combining some of these options could enhance their impact in addressing the issue effectively.

Government and Stakeholder Response

Lorna Slater, the Minister for Circular Economy, Green Skills, and Biodiversity, acknowledges the severity of the problem and vows to take action. She intends to engage with those affected, particularly young people, in the coming months to develop a comprehensive plan of action. Recognizing that single use vapes pose a problem across the entire UK, she has invited ministers from other UK governments to discuss the report’s findings and collectively determine the best course of action.

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland, emphasizes the damaging effects of littering on the environment, economy, and communities. He underscores the fact that single use vapes consist of components that, unless disposed of responsibly, can persist in the environment for many years. The sight of discarded vapes on streets has become all too common, further highlighting the pressing need for action.

Greens MSP Gillian Mackay, a prominent advocate for the ban, expresses her concern over the unknown health risks, particularly for young users, associated with disposable vapes. She also emphasizes the profound harm these products cause to the environment. Mackay acknowledges the progress made through the efforts of campaigners and the Daily Record’s campaign, with some major retailers already taking responsible action. She urges others to follow suit while the proposed measures are being considered.

Matthew Ma