The Local Government Association (LGA), the body representing councils in England and Wales, has called for a ban on the sale and manufacture of single-use vapes on environmental and health grounds.
It is the first time the LGA has called on the Government to outlaw the devices, and has urged for the ban to be introduced by 2024, highlighting the risk that with the EU proposing a ban by 2026, and with France planning to introduce a ban in December 2023, disposable vapes could flood the UK as markets close elsewhere.
According to the LGA, disposable vapes are a hazard for waste collection and cause fires in bin lorries. With 1.3 million disposable vapes thrown away every week, they have also become a widespread litter problem.
The LGA says councils are also worried about the impact vaping is having upon children and young people, and are especially concerned about the marketing of vapes with designs and flavours that could appeal to children.
Like CTSI – which has been at the forefront of raising the alarm about the dangers of illicit vape sales – the LGA is calling for new measures to regulate the display and marketing of vaping products.
Councillor David Fothergill, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board said: “Councils are not anti-vapes, which are shown to be less harmful than smoking and have a place as a tool to use in smoking cessation.
“However, disposable vapes are fundamentally flawed in their design and inherently unsustainable products, meaning an outright ban will prove more effective than attempts to recycle more vapes.
“Single-use vapes blight our streets as litter, are a hazard in our bin lorries, are expensive and difficult to deal with in our recycling centres. Their colours, flavours and advertising are appealing to children and the penalties for retailers selling them don’t go far enough.
“Councils urge the Government to take this action to protect our planet, keep children safe and save taxpayers money.”