‘Disposable vapes have become a nightmare for us to deal with’

Also experiencing this problem is the recently established environmental group, ‘Sick of Plastic Trim’ which raises awareness aboTrim Tidy Towns, which currently holds the national title for Ireland’s Tidiest Town.have echoed calls for disposable vapes to be banned.

Chairperson of TTT, Brian Heffernan said: “Disposable vapes, just like probably every other town in the country, have become a big problem for us. We regularly find them in car parks, playgrounds and other spaces where young people tend to gather. Our volunteer pickers have to deal with them every day.”ut the amount of throw-away plastic that we generate and the harm that it does to the environment.

The calls were made following Fianna Fáil TD, Paul McAuliffe’s comments regarding having disposable vapes banned altogether by Government due to their environmental impact.

Chairperson of Sick of Plastic Trim, Michael Breen said: “We welcome the recent ban on the sale of disposable vapes to children and feel that it should be extended to an outright ban.” Agreeing with Brian Heffernan’s statement, Michael Breen mentioned how it is “quite sad” to see the vapes being scattered around the town, especially where young people congregate. He mentioned that in his experience he found car parks to be a hot spot for these single-use vapes.

Expressing his concern regarding disposable vapes and their impact on the environment, Michael said: “These devices, most of which are discarded immediately after use, contain lithium and battery acid, as well as nicotine and plastic. Lithium is used to make electric vehicle car batteries, amongst other things, so it doesn’t make any sense to throw it away.

“Disposable vapes have become a nightmare for local authorities and tidy towns groups to deal with. They are very difficult to recycle and should be outlawed. People can continue to vape, if they wish, but it should be the reusable version only.”

Clean Coasts who completed the ‘Big Beach Clean’ at Meath beaches last month worked with local group Bettystown Tidy Towns, to tackle the issue of smoking related litter in the area and raise awareness of solutions. On the Clean Coasts website, there is a page dedicated to the topic of ‘vaping litter’. They state that “cigarette-related items, including vapes make up almost half of all litter pollution in Ireland”.

According to Clean Coasts, 1.3 million single-use vapes are thrown away every week, which means 10 tonnes of lithium are discarded annually. As the disposable vapes are made up of a number of materials such as plastic, rubber, and metal, they can’t break down naturally. Instead, they persist in our environments for a significant period of time.

Clean Coasts advise all site users to properly recycle vape and e-cigarette batteries and to stop placing them in household waste bins.

“You can dispose of these devices for free in any WEEE Ireland Blue Battery Box which can be found in most retailers or at your local civic amenity site.”