Research Finds that Five Million Disposable E-cigarettes

Research Finds that Five Million Disposable E-cigarettes are Thrown Away Every Week in the UK

King B. BBC Report. Five million disposable vapes are thrown away each week in the UK, a fourfold increase over the past year, according to research from recycling campaign group Material Focus.

8 September 2023.

“Only 17% of vapers recycle their vapes in the correct recycling bins, the research found.

Vapes can cause fires in bin lorries and waste treatment facilities if not disposed of correctly.

Material Focus, a non-profit organization that campaigns to increase recycling rates, calculated that UK adults buy about 30 million vapes a month, a huge increase that reflects the rapid growth in popularity of these products.

Disposable vapes contain copper wires and lithium batteries, which are both valuable materials. Material Focus estimates that all the disposable vapes thrown away in a year contain enough lithium to provide batteries for 5,000 electric cars.


The Scottish Government is considering a ban on disposable vapes. In July, councils in England and Wales called for a ban, partly because of the problems they can cause in waste disposal.

Stephen Hamann

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