Used vape recycling scheme expands as 1,000 free bins provided to shops

Elfbar will provide 1,000 in-store vape recycling bins to members of the Scottish Grocers Federation beginning in October.

A campaign to tackle littering caused by single use vapes has taken a step forward, as 1,000 free vape recycling bins are set to be installed at convenience stores across Scotland.

Vape brand ELFBAR have partnered with the Scottish Grocers Federation (SGF) to provide the in-store vape bins to trade body members beginning in mid-October.

Many retailers and outlets in Scotland already provide free used vape take-back services, with organisers saying the campaign will “significantly increase” the expansion of recycling.

Vapes, also known as E-cigarettes, can be damaging to the environment and wildlife if littered.

When not disposed of correctly, they can also cause fires because of the batteries hidden inside them.

Research from Zero Waste Scotland estimates that 26 million disposable vapes are thrown away in Scotland each year, 10% of which are littered and more than half disposed of incorrectly.

It comes as the Scottish Government prepare to launch a consultation over the ban of single-use vapes.

SGF chief executive Dr Pete Cheema OBE said: “SGF welcomes the opportunity to work in partnership with ELFBAR to help retailers play their part tackling the environmental damage done by single-use, disposable vaping products.

“SGF promotes responsible community retailing and so the opportunity to provide, with ELFBAR, 1,000 free in-store vaping bins to retailers is an important step forward and will feed into the process of providing easy waste and recycling options for disposable vaping products.

“We would encourage retailers sign up for a free vaping bin and they will have the perfect opportunity to do so at our SGF Annual Conference which takes places over October 12 and 13 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow.”

Eve Peters, director of government affairs and spokesperson for ELFBAR in the UK said: “ELFBAR is delighted to be working with SGF in the development and delivery of this vital campaign to increase recycling points for used vapes in the convenience sector across Scotland.”

The government’s consultation over banning disposable vapes is due to come next year.

Public health minister Jenni Minto said the Scottish Government remains “deeply concerned” over children and young people’s use of vaping products, adding that the long-term effects of the devices are not yet known.

She said: “Further action on vapes will be included in our refreshed tobacco action plan and we will continue to work with the UK Government and other devolved administrations on joint approaches.

“The Scottish Government is also committed to taking action to tackle the environmental impacts of single use vapes.

“Our Programme for Government outlined our intention to consult on a proposal to ban their sale along with other measures.

“We will work constructively with retailers, local government, young people and other stakeholders to inform our approach.”

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