Local councils in England and Wales have urged the UK government to ban the sale of disposable e-cigarettes by 2024 on environmental and health grounds, Reuters reports.
The Local Government Association of England and Wales (LGA), which represents local councils in England and Wales, suggests that it is particularly important that the ban comes into force quickly. Considering that the EU plans to ban disposable e-cigarettes in 2026 and France’s will implement a ban in December this year, there remains a risk that market closures will lead to an influx of disposable e-cigarettes into the UK.
The LGA suggests that 1.3 million disposable e-cigarettes are discarded every week. They pose a threat to waste and refuse collection, which in turn causes fires in refuse vehicles; disposable e-cigarettes are designed to be one-piece, with batteries that cannot be separated from the plastic, making them virtually impossible to recycle without special treatment; and local councils have also shown concern about the impact of e-cigarettes on children and young people.
David Fothergill, chair of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, stated:
“Disposable e-cigarettes are fundamentally flawed in their design and are an unsustainable product, and a ban would be more effective than trying to recycle more of them.”
The UK Electronic Cigarette Industry Association (UKVIA) defended disposable e-cigarettes.
John Dunne, the association’s director general, said in a BBC radio interview on Saturday:
“Disposable e-cigarettes have been around for more than a decade and are an inexpensive and accessible product that can help smokers quit.”
He said the e-cigarette industry was working to reduce its environmental impact and warned that a ban could lead to more illegal products entering the UK.