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Are disposable CBD vapes bad for the environment?

We take a look at the dark side of the disposable CBD vapes which have flooded the market in recent years.



Vaping is a popular way of consuming CBD, but there’s a dark side to the disposable vapes which have flooded the market in recent years.

As we previously explored, vaping is an increasingly popular way of administering CBD, mainly due to its fast-acting effects and its simplicity when it comes to dosing. 

When CBD or other cannabinoids are vaped, they are absorbed into the bloodstream directly from the lungs, with most people reporting that they feel the effects within a few minutes. 

However, the increase in disposable vapes on the market may present an issue for the industry and our natural environment.

What are disposable CBD vapes?

A disposable vaporiser is a single-use vaping device that comes pre-filled with e-liquid or vape juice, typically made by combining CBD distillate with a carrier liquid and additional flavourings.

They are often cheaper than standard vaping devices and are designed to be used until all the liquid has depleted or the battery runs out, after which it is discarded. It consists of a small battery and an atomiser (heating element). 

When you inhale through the mouthpiece, the battery activates the atomiser, which heats up the e-liquid and turns it into vapour. Most disposable vapes are inhalation-activated, meaning they start producing vapour when you take a puff and they do not require any buttons or settings to adjust.

One of the draws of disposable vapes is that they are compact and portable and require no refilling or recharging, making them a convenient choice for many, especially those who may be new to vaping and want a hassle-free experience. 

What are the downsides of disposable vapes?

While they offer convenience for many consumers, there are some disadvantages to disposable vapes which should be considered. 

Over time, they may end up being a more expensive option compared to refillable vaping devices and do not offer the same level of customisation, for example allowing you to choose different e-liquids and adjust settings or strength. There are also a wide variety of CBD vape brands on the market and an equally significant variation in quality standards, so make sure you do your research to find a reputable retailer.

Then of course, there is the environmental impact to consider. 

Why are disposable vapes bad for the environment?

Disposable vapes pose a significant risk to the environment, due to their single-use nature and the materials used to produce them. 

The fact that they are designed to be used for a limited time and then discarded, means they generate a significant amount of waste and contribute to landfill and litter problems. Statistics show that in the UK we throw away 1.3 million vapes each week, equating to around two vapes every second. Have you ever been walking down a busy high street or through the park and looked down to see a vape discarded in the dirt? Try it sometime, there’s a good chance you’ll spot one!

When they are not properly disposed of, CBD vapes pose a threat to wildlife which may mistake them for food or become entangled in them, while the chemicals used in them, such as lithium (which is highly flammable), might leak into the ground, potentially harming ecosystems and wildlife. 

Disposable vapes are often made from a mixture of materials, such as plastic, copper, and a lithium battery, but their complex design makes them very difficult and expensive to recycle. 

Plastics can take hundreds of years to decompose, and their production contributes to the depletion of fossil fuels and the release of greenhouse gases. Meanwhile lithium is a valuable material facing its own shortages across the globe. The amount of lithium thrown out in single-use vapes in the UK last year (over 10 tonnes) is enough to power 1,200 electric vehicles. 

The actual production of these devices also leaves a large carbon footprint. The extraction and processing of the materials can potentially result in habitat destruction, water pollution, and energy consumption, and the manufacturing, packaging, and transportation of the products all requires energy, contributing to carbon emissions. 

What can we do about it?

Several organisations have called on the government to ban single-use vapes in the UK, however they are yet to take any such action.

In the meantime, as a CBD consumer you could choose to invest in a rechargeable vape pen with a compatible and fully recyclable vape pen cartridge instead. Do your research and look for a reputable brand which adheres to the appropriate quality, safety and testing standards – some brands won’t work with disposable vapes purely for sustainability reasons. 

There are lots of reusable vape devices on the market now which are very light, compact and easy to use. Opt for something like the CCELL rechargeable vape pen battery & Hemp Extract CBD vape pen cartridge, which is powered by proprietary CCELL ceramic heating technology giving you additional reassurance.

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