How to Best Recycle Vape Kits and Accessories In 2023
As the world continues to face challenges, leading a more sustainable lifestyle is now more important than ever. Smoking is one of the leading factors for environmental damage across the globe, with its devastating effects ranging from destroying natural habitats to releasing mass amounts of greenhouse gases. Cigarette butts for example, are one of the most littered items on the planet. In the UK cigarette butts were found in 79% if 7,200 surveyed sites which sadly illustrates how widespread the damage from this one form of littering.
Luckily, vaping provides an eco-friendly alternative, and there’s plenty of reasons to support this idea! Vaping devices are filter free, meaning they are not as wasteful as cigarettes. They do not require a large amount of crops for production, resulting in fewer pesticides and less deforestation. Plus, vapour contains far fewer chemicals than cigarettes which pollute the air. Most importantly, most if not all e-cigarettes, e-liquids and replaceable components are made from recyclable plastic.
Read on to find out how to responsibly discard your vape device and accessories!
How to Recycle Pod Kits and Sub-ohm kits
Pod kits and sub-ohm kits may have different purposes, but they’re both built relatively the same, being they all have either a built-in battery or an external battery. For kits with external batteries, you can simply take these to your local battery recycling bin which are found in most supermarkets.
Alternatively, you can check your local council’s website for other drop-off points. Vape kits with built-in batteries will need to be recycled where electronics such as laptop batteries are taken. However, before doing this you'll need to make sure to dismantle the components inside your kit. These can all be easily taken apart and separated from one another, as long as you know how to do so!
How to Recycle Vape Tanks
The plastic drip tip on your tank is too small to be recycled, so this will need to be discarded in your general household bin. Since vape tanks are made using Pyrex glass, this will need to be discarded in the same way.
However, it’s not all bad news: the metal and rubber parts of your vape tank can usually be recycled! Once you’ve separated the metal parts from your tank and cleaned away any e-liquid residue, these can be taken to your nearest tip for use as scrap metal. As for the rubber parts from your tank, we recommend contacting your nearest recycling centre to find out if they are able to take this material.
How to Recycle Vape Pods
For refillable pods, you’ll firstly need to rinse out any excess e-liquid residue found on the glass, plastic and metal parts.
Similar to tanks, the metal parts of your vape pods should be separated, collected and dropped off at your nearest tip for use as scrap metal, while plastics, glass and rubber can all be dropped off at their respective recycling points.
For pre-filled pods, recycling is a little trickier. This is because pre-filled pods are single-use products with non-removable metal coils, which is categorised as a mixed material byproduct. As such, pre-filled pods will need to be discarded in your normal household bin.
How to Recycle Vape Coils
The heart of your vaping device, the coil, can also be recycled once correctly separated from the cotton wick. Most cotton wicks can be recycled in your usual household recycling bin, however never recycle wicks from vertically built coils as it will have been deeply saturated in nicotine and can cause complications for the recycling process.
When it comes to recycling the metal parts of your coil, this can be done in the same way you would with tanks and pods. Simply take this to your local scrap metal tip, and it’ll eventually be repurposed into something new!
How to Recycle Disposable Vaping Devices
Plastic waste is one of the biggest threats to our environment. Unfortunately, many vapers still remain unaware of the fact that disposable vapes can be recycled if disassembled correctly.
Once you’ve used up all of the puffs in your disposable, safely take out the battery and separate it from the plastic. Make sure to clean the plastic of any e-liquid residue, and take this to your local recycling facility along with your battery. You'll be able to place these parts in their respective recycling bins.
Each disposable vape is different, so make sure to check the recycling information provided on your product’s packaging. If there is no information available, it’s a good idea to check in with your local council or tip to find out your options.
Extra Tips on How to Be an Eco-friendly Vaper
The UK is one of the biggest producers of e-waste in the world, generating a shocking 23.9kg of e-waste per capita. But did you know that there’s tons of ways to reduce your environmental impact as a vaper? You’d be surprised by how even the smallest of actions can make a huge difference! If you’re a sub-ohm vaper, try opting for 100ml bottles as opposed to 50ml. This way, you’ll be able to cut down on plastic waste, not to mention keep topped up on all of your favourite flavours.
For mouth-to-lung vapers and especially beginners, it’s always worth starting with nicotine salts first. These types of e-liquids provide smoother throat hits and deliver nicotine rapidly, meaning you won’t need to vape as long. The result? Maximum satisfaction, less e-liquid consumption, and less plastic waste!
Another great way to reduce plastic waste is to vape with less sweet e-liquids, ideally at lower wattages. The reason being is that sweeter e-liquids are known to burn through coils faster. Similarly, higher wattages can cause your coil to become much hotter, burning the metal and cotton at a quicker rate.
This article was updated as of 2023.