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UK Vaping Industry Association questions environmental review

In an open letter, the UKVIA has criticised the approach to auditing how single-use e-cigarettes are legislated. 

Directly addressing Lorna Slater MSP, Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, the organisation – which represents the interests of the vaping and electronic cigarette industry – has pointed to potential bias in the report. 

Commissioned by the Scottish Government and presented by Zero Waste Scotland and Dr Dominic Hogg, of environmental research consultancy Equanimator Ltd., the assessment produced a series of potential policy changes that could help bring down the number of vapes being disposed of incorrectly. These included setting a standard design criteria, requiring all batteries can be removed and replaced, and the wholesale ban on single-use models. 

The public and wider vape sector were not permitted to provide submissions to the review, with just the trade bodies UKVIA and IBVTA (Independent British Vape Trade Association) allowed to put forward material. According to UKVIA Director General John Dunne, ‘this gives the impression that the consultations were merely a box-ticking exercise.’ 

A LinkedIn post by Dr Hogg has also been presented as evidence of major drawbacks with the work. The social media update asked ‘if we weren’t going to keep single use ecigs off the market, then what product would we keep off the market’. Responding to the suggestion a full ban should be an option, Dunne pointed to Australia. 

Having introduced prohibition on single-use vapes and e-cigarettes, 45 Australian and New Zealand public health, tobacco control, and addiction experts ‘with no links to tobacco or e-cigarette companies’ last month urged the government to reconsider due to the emergence of a ‘dangerous black market’. 

Nevertheless, Environment Journal has covered the issue of single-use vapes and the environment several times this year already. In March it emerged that 90% of vape producers were failing to meet green regulations, and in recent weeks insurance giant Zurich Municipal published a study in which it found 2million single-use vapes were being incorrectly disposed of each week in the UK. E-cigarettes were also among the commonly found items in recent organised cleanups on British beaches

More on vapes and pollution: 

Coca-Cola ‘tops’ plastic leaderboard as Extended Producer Responsibility delayed

Britons ‘incorrectly binning’ enough single-use vapes to circle M25 weekly

Over 90% of vape producers are failing to meet UK environmental regulations

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