Councillor calls for a ban on single vape e-cigarettes

'Zombie' batteries causing fires at recycling plants v.1
Councillor Robin Tatler.Councillor Robin Tatler.
Councillor Robin Tatler.

A Scottish Borders councillor is calling for a ban on single vape e-cigarettes because of their potentially devastating health and environmental impact.

The popularity of products such as e-cigarettes has soared over the past year, with vaping in Great Britain reaching record levels.

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About 4.3 million people are regular vapers, according to a recent report.

But concerns are rising over the impact of the product as a so-called ‘healthier’ alternative to smoking.

Supermarket giant Waitrose recently stopped selling single-use vaping products because of their negative impact on the environment and the health of young people.

And Glasgow Council have backed calls for a ban on the sale of disposable vapes due to the same concerns.

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Meanwhile, the Scottish Government has commissioned a review into the impact of single-use vapes after campaigners called for action over littering of e-cigarettes, which include lithium batteries.

Next week members of Scottish Borders Council will be presented with a motion calling on the local authority to express their support for a ban on single vape e-cigarettes.

The motion is being brought by independent Tweeddale East ward councillor Robin Tatler, who calls on the council to “acknowledge the increasing impact of the sales of single use Nicotine Vaping Products (NVPs) on the health of young people and the environment”.

His motion further requests that it is agreed to “instruct the chief executive to write to the Scottish and Westminster governments expressing Scottish Borders Council’s support for a proposed ban on single vapes, and to support measures to ban their sale.”

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Councillor Tatler also raises the issue of ‘Zombie’ batteries – with disposable vapes classed in that group – which are said to cause hundreds of fires a year at recycling plants after being thrown away incorrectly.

He adds: “Vaping has been on the rise in recent years as many look towards quitting smoking. This is a good stepping stone to being smoke free, however as vaping has risen in popularity, so has ‘disposable’ vapes. This is creating significant environmental issues.

“The number of discarded vapes accounts for around 10 tonnes of lithium being sent to landfill or waste incinerators each year – enough metal to make batteries for 1,200 electric cars.

“If littered, these create extremely toxic waste which can be harmful to children, pets, and wildlife as the battery may be damaged and leak chemical.”

Scottish Borders Council is to meet on Thursday, May 25, from 10am.