Your Guide to Safe E-Cigarette Disposal
We all know how simple it is to toss away your old electronic cigarette - even though we don't want to pollute our world with discarded plastic. If you are an e-cigarette user, it may be time for a change in your habits to be more environmentally friendly. Don't toss your e-cigarette and liquid waste in the regular dustbin or flush it down a sink. Instead, you should take them to an appropriate hazardous waste facility.
E-cigarettes, including cartridges and rechargeable batteries, can pose a threat to human health if they are not disposed of properly. Moreover, the liquid nicotine mixture bottles in these products have an environmental impact on landfills and oceans.
Keep reading to find out about e-cigarette disposal in the best possible way.
Why Should E-Cigarette Nicotine be Disposed of Carefully?
As you know, e-cigarettes pose significant health risks to everyone, including humans and animals. They have a permanent hazardous effect on natural resources if you aren't careful about their proper disposal.
Although e-cigarettes have a lower carbon footprint in comparison to traditional smoking, their waste is considered more of an environmental threat than cigarette butts. This is due to the fact that e-cigarettes add nicotine salts, plastic, lead, mercury, and flammable lithium-ion batteries into the soil, water, and wildlife.
E-cigarettes do not decompose like cigarette butts even under strong climatic conditions. They remain in the same state even after years of discarding.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed nicotine as hazardous waste, including its salt form and discarded or neglected vaping products like e-liquid. If there is no proper e-cigarette disposal, it's possible for someone to be exposed, which may lead them to unintentional poisoning from nicotine.
When thrown in the dustbin or flushed, e-cigarettes end up in the sewage system and then accumulate into the groundwater. Chemicals from decomposing e-cigarette batteries often seep into water bodies. This is dangerous for aquatic animals and wildlife. Moreover, these batteries can also be the cause of explosions when discarded without any proper treatment. Therefore, it is very crucial to learn how to dispose of e-cigarettes along with their components.
Learn the Right Ways for E-Cigarette Disposal
Cartridges that hold the flavoured nicotine solution are typically discarded after use. However, without proper hazardous waste disposal, they pose a threat to humans, pets and wildlife. Apart from the environment, this also puts the children at risk if they find these cartridges which have been discarded with other household wastes.
Here are some steps to ensure you are disposing of e-cigarettes the right way.
- To dispose of e-cigarettes, the users need to remove all of their filler equipment and rinse them under running water. This will remove all the residual vape juice and nicotine from the components of the device.
- The cartridges should be rinsed similarly and then covered with their caps.
- You may also soak the components in warm water with some dish soap to ensure they are clean and free from residual nicotine.
- Rinsing these components and cartridges in running water again will make sure they are clean enough to be disposed of.
- You may also dry these with a paper towel before disposing of them.
- After drying, dispose of them as per their material, such as plastics with other plastics. There are some sellers who have biodegradable cartridges.
- Buying from such vendors will help you move one step forward in being environmentally friendly.
You may also find some vendors that offer recycling programs for your used e-cigarettes and vapes. In general, this is an ideal way to dispose of these substances and devices. However, the reality is far away from ideal and still needs a lot of implementation. Not all sellers offer such services, and their users are unaware of the proper disposal.
There are several rules for the disposal of these items by users, commercial and industrial enterprises. Some regions have rules such as triple rinsing of e-cigarette cartridges and e-cigarettes. So make sure you comply with such rules and regulations for e-cigarette disposal to be a responsible citizen.
What is the Best Way to Dispose of Lithium-Ion Batteries in Your E-Cigarette?
The Environment Protection Agency doesn't regulate the disposal of batteries in small quantities, but local jurisdictions might have specific rules for electronic waste. This is because it's dangerous to toss lithium-ion batteries into a dustbin or recycling bin! Moreover, this applies to all rechargeable battery devices.
If you throw these batteries into dustbins without treating them, it can lead to a snowball effect of disasters. Once inside the back of a refuse or recycling truck, it is usually surrounded by dry paper and cardboard boxes that are pressing in on all sides. Besides, the pressure from above can cause lithium-ion batteries to spark and cause a fire. Not knowing the right way of e-cigarette disposal can prove to be lethal in such a situation.
For the proper disposal of lithium-ion batteries, it has to be discharged completely. This should be conducted by a trained professional who has the appropriate PPE to handle hazardous waste. Do not attempt to take apart your device to recycle the battery yourself. Always opt to recycle your battery at your local recycling facility that handles hazardous waste.
You may also check with your local municipality about the correct guidelines for electronic waste disposal. Some may offer you advice and techniques to dispose of them in a better way. This may include picking the batteries from your doorstep.
As more people are switching to e-cigarettes, it is important for them to learn about e-cigarette disposal responsibly. We hope this information convinces you to be more responsible towards the planet. If you skip proper disposal and recycling, the hazardous nicotine and plastics will cause environmental pollution. You are already contributing to a smaller carbon footprint by choosing e-cigarettes over traditional smoking. Include recycling and the right disposal to show that you genuinely care for the environment.