An urgent review of the environmental impacts and management of single-use vapes has been commissioned.

The review, which comes in response to emerging concerns around the negative consequences of the disposable devices, will inform potential policy responses, which could include a ban of the products.

The disposable smoking devices have been linked to issues including litter, plastic waste and fire risk.

Zero Waste Scotland will lead on the review, which will consider international experience and action, including any key developments in the European Union.

Other approaches could include increasing access to responsible disposal options, improved product design or public communications campaigns.

Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater said:

“Not only are single-use vapes bad for public health, they are also bad for the environment. From litter on our streets, to the risk of fires in waste facilities, there are issues which need to be addressed urgently.

“We will consider the evidence and expert advice and come forward with policy options, which could include a potential ban on single-use vapes.

“In the meantime, we would urge everyone who uses these products to make sure they are disposed of properly.”

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“Any form of littering is an unacceptable, anti-social behaviour, that is damaging to the environment and the economy. Single-use items, like disposable vapes, are becoming an all-too-common eyesore in areas where we live, work, and socialise, and can last in our environment for years and years. Tackling our throwaway culture is a priority here at Zero Waste Scotland and we are happy to lead on this important review.”

The Scottish Government is working on a refreshed Tobacco Action Plan, which will be published this Autumn. This will consider a range of interventions with an emphasis on reducing smoking and vaping among children and young people.

Correct disposal of e-cigarettes and vapes:

  • E-cigarettes or vapes should not be thrown away in general waste in order to avoid the risk of fire.
  • E-cigarettes or vapes should be disposed of at small waste electrical and electronic equipment receptacles widely available at household waste recycling centres.
  • If the batteries inside vapes are easily removable, these should be removed and disposed of in battery recycling receptacles.