United Kingdom

Disposable vaporizers that fill landfills with precious metals

Enough lithium to power 1,200 electric car batteries is reportedly wasted each year

Around 10 tonnes of lithium end up in UK landfills every year, as disposable vaping users throw away an average of two pens containing the substance every second, Sky News reported on Friday. While the average Vapor battery contains just a tenth of a gram of metal, it quickly adds up to enough lithium to make batteries for 1,200 electric cars, a joint investigation by the broadcaster and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found.

We can’t throw this stuff away, it’s really crazy in a climate emergencyUniversity College London professor Mark Miodovnik told Sky, noting that the metalin your laptop, it’s in your cell phone, it’s in electric cars“.

About 18% of the 4,000 individuals surveyed bought a vape in the previous year, according to market research conducted by Opinium on behalf of the non-profit recycling group Material Focus, and 7% of them bought a disposable vape. Extrapolated across the country, the research results show that 168 million single-use vapes are sold annually in the UK.

More than half of vapers said they threw theirs out when the battery died, rather than returning them to the store where they bought them or taking them to an electronics recycling facility.

Vape pens are only the tip of the iceberg, according to Material Focus, which previously estimated that UK homes contain 500 million e-wastes – products containing precious metals such as gold and copper, as well as lithium, which can be worth just as much. £370 million. Instead of being recycled, these items end up in landfills, which is not only bad for the environment, but in some cases is against UK law.

Manufacturers such as disposable vaporizers classified as “waste electrical and electronic equipment“(WEEE) are expected to submit to a national register and take other measures to ensure that the harmful components of their products are recycled.

However, the investigation found no evidence that the makers of either of the UK’s most popular vape brands, Geek Bar or Elf Bar, were on the register. When the outlet went to the Environmental Agency with the findings, the agency promised.appropriate forced responseIt’s not clear how many years single-use vapers have been exempt from industry recycling requirements, but Geek Bar and Elf Bar have been in business since 2015 and 2018, respectively.

READ MORE: Tennessee mom traded vape pens for underage sex

The World Health Organization warned of the increased risk of vaping and e-cigarettes last year, although UK public health officials claim vaping is 97% less harmful than smoking, and the National Health Service has even started prescribing vaping for smokers who tried to quit smoking earlier. the year.

Disposable vaporizers that fill landfills with precious metals

SourceDisposable vaporizers that fill landfills with precious metals

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