6 Ways to Make Vaping More Sustainable & Recycling Vape Parts (Guide)

Recycling Vapes - Stock image of metal vape parts from Canva

Did you know that vaping can have a negative environmental impact?

We are talking about the materials used to create e-liquids, the energy and resources required for manufacturing and disposal (including e-cigarettes), and toxic byproducts that come from nicotine production.

The good news is: there’s no need to fret! There are ways to minimize the carbon footprint from vaping.

Read on below for some tips on how you can vape more sustainably, and how to recycle your vape parts:

6 Ways to Make Vaping More Eco-Friendly

How do you vape responsibly?

There are many ways to be more eco-friendly with your vaping habits. Whether it’s choosing the right device, knowing how to charge your battery, or remembering to recycle—you can reduce your environmental impact by making some changes!

1. Use Organic Vape Juice

E-liquids contain nicotine, flavoring, water, and a glycol-based substance. Organic vape juices have vegetable glycerin (VG) while the inorganic ones contain the synthetic substance, propylene glycol (PG).

VG comes from vegetables and the liquids are considered organic if those vegetables are grown and processed by meeting the standards set by the respective authorities.

What’s the advantage? It helps cut down on pollution from production processes as well as reduces landfill and waste disposal impact since it uses biodegradable materials.

recycling vapes - organic vape juice in glass dropper bottles

2. Avoid Using Disposable Vape Pens

Non-rebuildable atomizers are embedded with a coil that is not meant to be replaced by the user. They’re sealed and disposable, which means more waste from production as well as post-use disposal costs.

The good news is that there are now many affordable, re-usable vape pens on the market. These pens allow you to reuse your coils, saving resources and money in the long run. Just be sure to properly recycle or dispose of your old coils!

You can further reduce your carbon footprint and save money by making your own rebuildable coils. The process of rebuilding your own coils means there are fewer waste materials because you will simply use new wire and cotton instead of discarding a whole ready-made coil. If you like to go the extra mile, use 100% organic cotton for the homemade coils.

3. Switch to Glass Cartridges

Replace plastic cartridges with glass ones. Plastic components are made by using petroleum, a non-renewable resource. These cartridges are heat-safe, but heated plastic can still release harmful chemical compounds.

Glass is a sustainable material that does not contain any toxic substances that could leak out in landfills or waterways as plastics do. Also, glass materials can be recycled again and again without breaking down into harmful chemicals. When it comes to recycling vape cartridges, glass ones are the best option to choose!

Recycling vapes - image of a metal vape with a glass cartridge in a mans hands

4. Use a Vape Battery with a Long Life

The more times a battery can be recharged, the fewer resources that are required to make it. Replacing batteries frequently also harms the environment because more dead batteries then end up in landfills.

If you like taking care of our planet and saving some money at the same time, buying a long-lasting battery is an option worth exploring!

Also, these are lithium-ion batteries and lithium mining is extremely detrimental to the environment. The chemical-intensive process can disrupt the local ecosystem too.

5. Recycling Vape Parts and Safe Disposal of Non-Recyclable Parts

You should not throw out any vape parts in trash bins because they may contain harmful materials. How can you recycle or dispose of various vaping components without having negative consequences for the environment?

This video by West Coast Clouds goes into more detail on the recycling of vape cartridges, batteries and other components:

Be responsible when disposing of your e-liquids, batteries, and coils. When it comes to parts that are not intended to be re-used, for example when you’re recycling Juul pods, you may have to break them apart and recycle the components separately.

Let’s see how you can get rid of vape parts without causing pollution:

– Recycling Vape Batteries

Batteries are a key component of vaping, and it’s critical to recycle vape batteries or  dispose of them  properly. You can’t just throw them in the trash, as they can leak harmful chemicals into the environment. Dead batteries can even catch fire or explode if they are not handled carefully.

Many e-cig retailers now accept used vape batteries for recycling. So make sure to contact your favorite vape shop and ask where you can drop off the dead batteries.

If you don’t want to visit an e-cig retailer, then you’ll have to turn them in with a local recycling company that accepts e-waste or take them to an electronics recycling hub in your area.

– Recycling Vape Coils

Coils are another important part of vaping, and they need to be disposed of properly too. You can’t just throw them away, as the metals they contain can leach into the environment and cause pollution.

Recycling vapes - image of an exposed vape coil, glowing red hot

Coils should be recycled at an e-cig retailer. If you don’t have an e-cig retailer near you, then check if there’s a recycling depot that accepts small metals.

You can clean and re-use your coils, although it won’t last more than a few days. Just make sure you have the right equipment for this job!

– Recycling Vape Juice Bottles

E-liquid bottles are usually made from plastic, which is not biodegradable. So, when disposed of improperly, they can end up in landfills or the ocean where they will take centuries to break down.

Most people who vape should be aware that it’s important to recycle the plastic bottles that their e-juice comes in. If you live near a recycling center for glass and plastics, this is often as simple as leaving your used bottles to their designated booths for collection.

If you can’t find a recycling center, wash them properly to clean the e-liquid residue. Then, leave the bottles in the beans designated for plastic recycling.

– Safe Disposal of E-liquids

There are different e-liquid flavors, and you may not like each one. Most people will then toss the bottle in the trash can, which will only add to the pollution.

You should never dump it down the drain or flush it down the toilet, as this can contaminate water supplies. Also, spilled liquids in the trash can kill wildlife and stray animals.

The safest way is to pour it into sawdust or cat litter and let it dry out. These absorbent materials will soak up the liquid quite nicely. Once it’s solid, you can put it in a compostable bag and dispose of it in the trash.

6. Buy Locally-Sourced E-liquids and Hardware

The vape industry has grown rapidly in recent years, but resources are not infinite. Buying local products helps avoid the cost of transportation and reduces environmental impact. It will also reduce waste from shipping materials across the world.

This helps in cutting down on air shipping and contributes to the reduction of overall carbon emissions. By doing this, you will also promote local sellers and manufacturers. These products also comply with the country’s regulations and standards.

Conclusion

There are many ways to make vaping more sustainable. Remember that although vaping is less harmful than smoking cigarettes, it’s still not devoid of impact on the environment. So do your part and make choices that will help reduce the overall negative impact. Let’s work together to make vaping more sustainable for generations to come!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is vaping more eco-friendly than smoking cigarettes?

Yes. Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter on earth, and each one takes about 18 months to 10 years to decompose. And, they release many toxins into the soil. Cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, including 70 known carcinogens. E-liquids contain only a few of the harmful chemicals that are found in cigarette smoke. If vapes are correctly used and disposed of, they're a healthier option can reduce waste - read the full guide to learn more.

Are all vape parts recyclable?

No. Not all vape parts are recyclable, but most of them are. The key components that need to be disposed of and recycled properly are the e-liquid bottles, batteries, coils, and cartomizers. However, it can be difficult to sort them out for recycling because vapes are made of a combination of metal, glass, and plastic. Read the full guide for more info on recycling vape parts.

When should you throw out a disposable vape?

Disposable vapes should only be thrown away when they are no longer usable. This usually happens when the battery dies or the coil burns out. You can usually tell when it's time to get a new one because the vapor will start tasting bad. It's also evident when the tip no longer lights up at the time of taking a puff.
If you're not sure whether it's time to throw out your disposable vape, then try cleaning it. If that doesn't work, then it's probably time to get a new one. In fact, a disposable vape pen only lasts for around 400 puffs. Read the full guide for more on how to dispose of vapes responsibly.

References

ABC News: E-cigarettes Highlight the Challenges of Dealing with Plastic Waste

Earth 911: Local Recycling Centre Search Tool (US) 

Earth 911: How to Recycle Rechargeable Batteries

Recycle Now: How are Electrical Items Recycled? 

U.S. Food & Drug Administration: Tips for Safe Disposal of E-Cigarettes and E-Liquid Waste

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