Scottish charities in plea to retailers to ban single-use vapes

​Environmental and health charities are calling on Scottish retailers to stop selling single-use vapes.

Following a Scottish Government announcement of a review into the environmental impact of the devices, charities such as Keep Scotland Beautiful, Ash Scotland and the Marine Conservation Society, plus climate activist Laura Young, are calling for immediate action.

They are urging Scottish retailers to follow the lead of Waitrose, which announced in January it would stop sales of single-use vaping products over concerns about the environmental impact.

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Jade Symonds, trading manager at Waitrose, said: "We are a retailer driven by doing the right thing. Not participating in the single-use vaping market is something we felt strongly about due to the environmental impact and also the risk these products pose in appealing to younger, non-smokers."

A teenager smoking an electronic cigarette. Picture: Getty ImagesA teenager smoking an electronic cigarette. Picture: Getty Images
A teenager smoking an electronic cigarette. Picture: Getty Images

Disposable vapes are ready to use when bought and last for around 600 puffs.

Most are then discarded and when they are not recycled, the components of single-use vapes end up in Scotland's environment.

The materials increase plastic pollution and toxic chemical leakage, while microplastics have also been found in the stomachs of various animals including seafood for human consumption.

Barry Fisher, chief executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: "The announcement of a review into single-use vapes and their impact on our environment is both timely and necessary.

"However, the time to act is now. We know that 87 per cent of Scottish people believe litter is an issue across the country. Scotland is currently facing a litter emergency and single-use vapes are an unwelcome addition. That's why we are calling on all Scottish retailers to ban sales of the product.

"Cigarette litter in general makes up the biggest chunk of litter we record across Scotland, and we know that single-use vapes are increasing as a new, unnecessary litter type.

"We reiterate our call for action, up to and including a ban on single-use vapes"

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Elliott Welch, of the Marine Conservation Society, said the impact of vapes on marine life was "worrying".

She said: "Legislative action must be taken to ban the manufacture and sale of disposable vapes. Anything less would go against the Scottish Government's plans to transition to a circular economy.

"Action can also be taken by individuals and businesses. If you use a vaping product, switch to a reusable option and always ensure you dispose of vaping products correctly through takeback schemes or designated recycling points.

"Businesses can take a lead and remove disposable vapes from their shelves, as well as raising awareness of the available take-back schemes to help increase recycling rates of vaping products."



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