Disposable vapes

British Metals Recycling Association urges festival organisers to ban disposable vapes

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The British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) has urged all music festivals to introduce an outright ban on all disposable vapes.

Glastonbury, Leeds and Reading were among many festivals to ban the items last summer.

New figures show blazes linked to batteries used in the vapes are rising. Hence, the BMRA says more needs to be done.

Antonia Grey, head of policy and public affairs at the BMRA, said: “We welcome more festivals introducing single-use vape bans following Glastonbury’s lead last year. But we hope many more will follow this year.

“If festivals decide against a ban, which would be disappointing, then we’d strongly urge them to ensure there are suitable recycling facilities for festivalgoers to dispose of used vapes.

“Not only will this help to protect waste and recycling workers from any dangers imposed by a rogue lithium-ion battery, but it also ensures that it gets into the correct recycling stream in order to recover the metal material in it.

“While a Government ban on disposable vapes is likely, until then we all must be mindful of how we dispose of, and recycle, all vapes and, in fact, anything containing a lithium-ion battery.”

The BMRA has long been campaigning for action to be taken on the grounds of safety and fire risk posed by the lithium-ion batteries they contain.

Earlier this week new figures revealed how fires caused by batteries in waste have increased by 71 per cent in the UK since 2022.

An increase in the number of these devices being thrown in household rubbish bins has led to more than 1,200 fires in the waste system in the past 12 months, compared with 700 two years ago.

It is estimated that lithium-ion batteries are responsible for around 48 per cent of all waste fires occurring in the UK, costing the UK economy some £150 million last year.

Fires are occurring due to items containing lithium-ion batteries, like vapes, not being disposed of correctly.

Poor quality or damaged batteries can spontaneously explode and have been blamed for sparking large-scale fires at recycling centres across the country.