You’ve already made one of the most important changes a smoker can make. You’ve stopped smoking. There’s no point going on about all the ways your health may improve now, these reasons are probably why you looked for a healthier alternative and chose vaping.

What you may not realise is that as well as reducing the harm you’re doing to your own health, you’re also reducing the harm smokers inflict on our environment every day.

The latest estimates say that 6.5 trillion cigarettes are smoked every year around the world. Allowing for, let’s say, 30% of these being self-rolled, that’s still 200 billion packets sold and disposed of every year, 4 trillion cigarette butts discarded and either left in the open or thrown into the landfill. These butts also hold the bulk of the chemical residue and tar created by smoking the cigarette. The packs can’t be recycled because they’re plastic coated and the butts break down into plastic microfibers. And don’t get me started about the fuel used for lighters and the metal and plastic used to make them.

So, you’ve already done your part for yourself and the world, right?

Craig asked me to write this blog to see if there’s even more we can do. We’ve already made a positive impact and we can do even more for the world our children and pets live in.

The biggest cause of waste we generate as vapers is plastic and you only need to turn on the news or watch an episode of BBC’s fantastic Drowning in plastic to understand how much harm we’ve unknowingly been doing to the world with our plastic consumption.

The first step we can take to help is by always throwing our used juice and nic shot bottles into the recycling. If you’re able to rinse them out with warm water, even better. The chemicals you’re pouring down the sink are removed from the water supply before they reach the environment thanks to water treatment plants that make our water drinkable.

But it’s not just the bottles and the cardboard boxes they sometimes are packed in.

More and more vaping websites are making a conscious effort to offer us helpful advice on being more green with our vaping waste. Mostly they talk about plastic and cardboard, but some have very useful information about the other elements which can be recycled.

We’re talking about our mods and tanks, including the coils.

Did you know that most premade coils can be rinsed through with hot water and, after being given time to thoroughly dry out, can be reused again? (Albeit for a much shorter duration than a new coil).

This is recycling that actually saves you money!

You can also recycle your tanks and mods but please (safely) break them down to their component parts if possible as this makes it more likely the parts can be fully recycled.

The one thing that needs special attention is your batteries. Lots of places, including some supermarkets, now offer a battery recycling bin. These are then sent to be industrially stripped down. Precious metals re-used, chemicals filtered and reused where possible. The only batteries that cannot be recycled are alkaline batteries. But most rechargeable batteries are lithium ion or nickel cadmium. Rare earth and precious metals are used to make these batteries and the more we can get back into the system, the better we all are. Please remember, any mod that has a built-in rechargeable battery needs to be treated the same as a normal battery. Dispose of them safely, preferably by recycling.

James Hardaker

James Hardaker

The Happy Vape Co’s resident blogger

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