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GUIDE TO RECYCLING YOUR VAPE

While a few years back we might all be trying to cut back on plastic straws, a more unexpected thing that has a huge (and positive) impact on the environment is cutting out smoking. The amount of paper needed to produce the world's whopping 5.7 trillion cigarettes a year is huge but the effect of a single cigarette butt in the natural environment is even more damaging. With all the chemicals held in the plastic filter, just one cigarette butt can contaminate up to 1000 litres of water. By switching to vaping, you’re already making a difference.

Everything we consume will have an impact on our environment but by taking small steps we can reduce that impact by reusing and recycling wherever possible. While vaping is never going to be totally waste free, it’s a much safer choice for our bodies and our planet. We’ll break down each part in your e-cigarette and let you know what, how (and where) you can recycle those parts.

RECYCLING E-LIQUID BOTTLES AND PRE-FILLED PODS

Starting off with the easy one, let’s take a look at your e-liquid bottles. These are usually made from plastic though can also be made of glass. If you look at the base of your bottles, you’ll see the recycling triangle as well as a number inside which indicates the kind of plastic it’s made of.

When it comes to plastic bottles, you’ll need to give them a good wash to remove any traces of nicotine containing e-liquid first. You can then seal them up and pop them in your household recycling bin. If you’ve got a glass e-liquid bottle, the bottle part itself can be recycled once it’s clean. The pipette needs to go in your bin as it’s a mix of glass, rubber and plastic and can’t be broken down into its component parts.

VAPE TANKS

Vape tanks are another one that involve a little bit of care and maintenance to be disposed of. They’re made of a combination of a plastic or resin drip tip, a glass sleeve that holds your e-liquid, rubber seals, a coil and then metal to hold it all together. The plastic drip tip is too small to be picked up by the machines at recycling facilities and needs to go in your bin and so does the rubber. When it comes to glass, because tanks are typically made with pyrex, it’s a different type of glass than you’d get when buying groceries in jars and again needs to be disposed of separately.

The metal component of your tank can’t go in the household recycling bin but can be taken to the tip to be broken down as scrap metal. As for the coil, if you can pull the cotton wicking material out you can also pop the metal component into the scrap metal bin. There’s also anumber of places you can drop your metal components off to if a trip to the tip is a bit far away. Much like with your e-liquid bottles, making sure you’ve cleaned each part well before disposing of them in their own ways is important too.

VAPE KITS & MODS

Kits and mods can be slightly different depending on how they’re made. You’ll either have a kit that has a built in battery or an external battery. The ones with external batteries are simple - once your batteries aren’t giving you much life anymore you can drop them off at a battery recycling bin which you can find in plenty of supermarkets these days. Some household recycling even offers battery recycling but you’ll need to check on your local council website for details. The vape kits with built in batteries will need to be dropped off where electronics like laptop batteries, cellphones and other tech can be recycled. As a general rule, as long as you can separate the tank or pod that holds your e-liquid from the battery, it can usually be recycled in some capacity.

DISPOSABLE VAPE KITS AND PRE-FILLED PODS

The most tricky of the vaping bunch are the pre-filled pods and disposable vape kits. The pre-filled pods are single use and once they’re empty need to be disposed of. Due to the way they’re made, it’s quite tricky to separate them into their base elements (metal, plastic and cotton) so they’ll need to go in your household waste bin. This comes down to the fact that when you can’t remove the metal coil from inside the pod, it’s a mixed material byproduct and as such, can’t be recycled.

With disposable vape kits, they’re a slightly different type of battery than rechargeable ones. You’re best off looking at the recycling information on your disposable device as they can vary from kit to kit. Typically they’ll need to be disposed of in a safe manner if they can’t be recycled so again, checking with your local council or tip is the best way to go to see what your options are.

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONNEMENT

While there are some flaws in the way we use (and dispose of) e-cigarettes, there are a few things you can do to extend the life of your kit as well as creating less waste. Even the small things we collectively add up so keeping these in mind when purchasing and replacing parts for your vaping set-up will help:

  • Buying bigger bottles of e-liquid if you’re a Sub Ohm vaper is a great start. When you get a 100ml bottle for example rather than two 50ml bottles (or a bunch of little 10mls), you’re already cutting down on the amount of plastic waste that needs to be sorted and recycled.
  • If you’re a mouth to lung vaper, a great option for you is to explore nic salts if you haven’t already. They come in a range of strengths and because they deliver nicotine more rapidly, you often don’t need to vape as long until you’re satisfied which means less e-liquid consumption and less plastic waste to recycle.
  • If you’ve started out with vaping and are using disposable vape kits, figuring out what kind of reusable, rechargeable kit is good for you will cut down on waste a lot in the long term. If you’re not sure where to start, we have a whole guide to vape kits that’ll help you refine your options.
  • Using less sweet e-liquid is also an option worth considering as is as vaping at a lower wattage setting if you have a variable wattage kit. The sweeter an e-liquid is, the faster you’ll burn through your coils. Likewise, vaping at a high wattage level will make your coil much hotter, in turn burning out the metal core and cotton faster.

All in, there’s a number of benefits environmentally as well as health wise when switching from smoking to vaping. If you need help choosing a kit that’ll stand the test of time, or want to figure out which e-liquid is best for you, we’re on hand to help you find something that’s just right. You can contact us directly or pop in-store to get a personalised recommendation.