A climate change activist wants to ban disposable vapes after she pulled them out of her dog’s mouth.
Laura Young is sick of finding e-cigarettes almost every day and thinks they need to go or be better recycled.
The 26-year-old, from East Renfrewshire, plans to challenge businesses to find a solution after he “exploded onto the waste scene”.
It comes as vaping has reached record levels in Britain with around 4.3 million people being active vapers, according to a report by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).
Data suggests that 8.3% of adults in England, Wales and Scotland use vapes because they deliver nicotine in the same way as cigarettes.
Now Laura wants to see people use refillable vapes and move away from disposable options.
Laura told the Glasgow Times: “Vapes have just exploded onto the waste scene as they have become hugely popular.
“I’m not against vaping, but we can’t continue to consume like that, it’s so irresponsible.
“I think disposable vapes should be banned or companies should at least find a better way to recycle them.
“We are in a climate emergency. Every bit of material we use is precious, so throwing away metals and batteries like that is a mistake.
“I pick them up almost every day and have had to take them from my dog on walks. Also, young children might pick them up too.
“I’m meeting with my SNP MP Kirsten Oswald to see what the next steps are to resolve the issue.”
Disposable vape products are made from three key components, namely the battery, the pod, and the coil.
This means they can have devastating long-term climate impacts in Glasgow, as they last for years in the environment, according to Zero Waste Scotland.
Laura is now preparing to get her doctorate in environmental research and wants people to be aware of the effects of vaping.
Laura said: “I took a trip to see what I could do to reduce my own waste and be more sustainable and now I want to campaign for bigger changes.
“I feel really passionate about waste and consumption and the impact it has on people.
“It’s good that people are using them instead of smoking, but we still don’t know all the health implications vapes cause.
“They’re marketed as a fun little lifestyle habit that’s just a fruity tune, but actually has so much more to it.
“They contain a battery which must be disposed of responsibly or they may start a fire.”
Kim Young, litter and landfill manager at Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Any form of littering is unacceptable and anti-social behavior that harms the environment and the economy.
“Single-use items such as cigarette filters and vaping products can last in our environment for years and years, so ensuring they are disposed of correctly is critical.
“Prevention is better than cure, and by changing our attitudes towards litter we can all make a positive difference. Ending Scotland’s throwaway society starts with the basics – throwing things away not in our environment but in a trash bin at which they belong.”
According to the Scottish government, e-cigarettes contain significantly fewer chemicals associated with cancer.
However, the government has also warned that vapes are not risk-free as there are still many unknowns about their long-term effects.