These Stats About Vapes And The Environment Are The Most Depressing Thing You'll Read Today

Put the vape down.
Irina K / 500px via Getty Images

You can’t leave your house without seeing a used vape on the floor. Vaping has become increasingly popular among British teens with an eye-watering 18% of 15-year-olds in England and Wales consuming e-cigarettes in February 2022, according to the NHS.

Shockingly, the number of 11 to 17-year-olds vaping in Britain, increased last year from 3.3% in 2021 to 7%.

We know that vaping has serious health risks however, concerns are now emerging about the huge amounts of electronic waste that the smoking alternative produces.

A report by recycling group Material Focus, found single-use vape sales in the UK have soared to a staggering 138million a year.

Each vaping device is made with 0.15g of lithium in its battery, a metal that is ranked as a “critical” raw material by the US and EU.

So much so that The International Energy Agency believes that in two years, the material could be in short supply as manufacturers rush to scale up electric car production.

Over 90 tonnes of lithium were used when creating $5bn worth of single-use vapes sold globally in 2022, according to Financial Times data from the research group Euromonitor the consultancy ECigIntelligence.

This equals to enough lithium to supply more than 11,000 electric vehicle batteries. Additionally, they contained around 1,160 tonnes of copper, which is enough to use for 1.6m home electric vehicle chargers.

“If you wanted to invent a product to expose what’s rotten with the vaping industry, disposable vapes would be it,” says Shane MacGuill, head of nicotine research at Euromonitor.

However, manufacturers around the world aren’t making much effort to make sure their products are recycled in order to protect the resource from ending up in landfills. New research conducted by Material Focus shared with the Financial Times - highlights that a large number of smaller vape companies are not registered to meet legal rules to fund recycling.

Laura Young, an award-winning climate activist is campaigning to getting them banned. Young went on a disposable vape hunt across Dundee to see how many disposable vapes she can find.

“Some analysis of what was found, plus some scary noises and smoke coming from them. Many were wet and damaged from being outside littered,” Young shares.

She found vapes near residential and city centre spots, highlighting that they can be found nearly everywhere which is bad news for the environment.

And she’s not the only one..

We’re all for quitting smoking, but seriously, vaping instead clearing isn’t helping our environment.