How to Dispose of Disposable Vapes Responsibly

Ironically, disposable vapes are pretty hard to dispose of. Here’s everything you need to know about getting rid of your disposable vapes responsibly.

How to Dispose of Disposable Vapes Responsibly

Whether you’re a die-hard fan of disposable vaping or are considering buying your first disposable, the question of how to dispose of your finished vapes has probably crossed your mind.

Because they contain both electronic batteries and potentially hazardous e-liquid containing nicotine, disposable vapes should not be thrown away in a normal rubbish bin. This is because they will end up as potentially harmful contaminants in landfill.

So, what should you do with my disposable e-cigarettes instead? Here’s everything you need to know about how to dispose of or recycle your disposable vapes.

What is a disposable vape?

Disposable vapes are small e-cigarettes that are pre-filled with e-liquid. They have a small battery, usually around 500mAh, which powers the vape. The vape cannot be charged or refilled, so when the battery and e-liquid run out it’s time to throw the e-cigarette away and buy a new one.

In recent years, disposable vapes have taken the world by storm. Favourites like the Elf Bar, Geek Bar, and IVG Bar have introduced many people to the wonderful world of vaping.

Why is it important to responsibly dispose of my disposable vapes?

Disposable vape kits can be harmful to the environment if you do not dispose of or recycle them properly. When sent to landfill, these e-cigarettes cause three types of harmful waste:

Plastic waste: the plastic used in disposable vapes will not biodegrade even if left for a very long time. Instead, it will break down into microplastics that pollute our environment and waterways

  • Electronic waste: even though the batteries are dead by the time you dispose of your e-cig, they still contribute to electronic waste (e-waste); the toxic materials from the battery can seep into the environment
  • Chemical waste: the remains of nicotine containing e-liquid in the disposable vape is also hazardous when sent to landfill

With these three key environmental risks in mind, it’s clear that disposable vapes need to be recycled safely.

However, many vapers still don’t know how to safely recycle their disposables. It’s not their fault; few vape devices contain instructions for recycling in their packaging. In fact, a 2016 analysis of 6 of the most popular vapes found that none of the devices had recycling instructions included.

Moreover, because disposable e-cigs contain three different types of waste, it’s not as simple as throwing them in the recycling bin and forgetting about it. The different parts of the vape need to be separated so they can be disposed of or recycled separately, which can be difficult. The procedure varies for different disposable vape brands, so you’ll need to research your specific model and whether it can be recycled.

Tips for disposing of your disposable vapes

1. Read the instructions on your vape

Every disposable is different, so your first step should be to read the e-cigarette’s packaging to find out how to recycle or dispose of it. This will hopefully tell you which parts are eligible for recycling and how to do this. If your vape’s packaging does not include recycling details, try searching online for more information.

2. Collect your finished vapes

If you use disposable e-cigs frequently, store your finished vapes in a safe place (away from pets or children). When you’ve amassed enough, they can be disposed of together. This is easier than trying to dispose of them one at a time.

3. Separate your vape’s parts

If possible, you can separate the parts of each vape, removing the battery from the tank which contains remnants of e-liquid so they can be cleaned and disposed of separately. However, disposable vapes are not designed to be disassembled, so this might not be possible.

4. Ask your local vape shop 

Some vape shops might collect used disposables — ask at your local vape shop to find out if they’ll dispose of yours for you.

5. Ask at your local recycling centre

Another option is to get in touch with your local recycling centre. They can provide advice for recycling your disposable device.

Consider switching to recycle friendly vapes

If you want to do your part for the environment, there are two options. Firstly, you can upgrade to a reusable vape kit. Not only will this reduce the amount of waste that your vaping habit produces, but it will also save you significant amounts of money and provide a better vaping experience.

If you prefer disposables but want to lessen your environmental impact, the other option is an eco-friendly disposable such as the Riot Squad Q Bar. This is the first carbon-neutral disposable vape created from a material derived from cornstarch. Riot Squad have decided to collect back the used disposables and recycle them into clothing.


Contrary to their name, disposable vapes are surprisingly tricky to dispose of. How to dispose or recycle them varies between different manufacturers and models, but the key point is:

Don’t throw your disposable vapes in the rubbish bin!

Check the packaging, research online, or speak to your local vape shop to find out more about how to get rid of your specific disposable model.

Legion of Vapers is an online vape store offering new eco-friendly disposable vapes such as the Riot Squad Q Bar as well as the classic Elf Bars, Geek Bars, and more. Check out their range of low-priced disposable vape pods or vape kits to find the perfect e-cig for you.