Now that vaping is big business, there are definitely a lot of vapers out there. In some places you will see used batteries or cartridges lying around in the street. How good is it for us or our environment to have so much vaping waste? The disposable vape problem is growing and needs better alternatives.
There are several issues with the disposable vape trend, and there aren’t as many current alternatives as there should be. In the future, we hope to have more options available to the vaping public. This news publication specializes in reporting on cannabis and psychedelic industries, which you can be a part of by subscribing to the THC Weekly Bulletin. In addition to general updates, this will put you in first place for a range of offers on various cannabinoids, such as HHC-O, delta 8, Delta 9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO, THCV, THCP & HHC, which won’t kill your bank account. Head to our “Best-of” lists to get these deals, and don’t forget to take advantage of them responsibly!
What is a vape cart?
A vape cart is a small container filled with oil, then attached to a battery, which heats the oil to produce a vapor. Cartridges are usually made of polycarbonate plastic, but can also be made of other materials such as stainless steel, ceramic or glass. The cartridge contains a metal coil, called an atomizer, as well as metal solders. The coil heats up to heat the oil in the cartridge.
The cartridge is attached to a battery, which is usually a 510 threaded lithium-ion battery. Exceptions include pods and some carts that require larger batteries. Although not all 510 threaded batteries will work with all carts designed for 510 threaded, for the most part, if that’s what you buy, they will work together. When buying a disposable, everything is one piece and nothing needs to be attached.
Many batteries are rechargeable and just need to be plugged in once in a while before vaping again. These batteries come with individual cartridges that are purchased separately, and are generally disposable, even if the battery is not. The other option is a disposable cartridge which is attached to a disposable battery, which is discarded at the end. These are cheaper than refillable vapes when you buy one at a time, but tend to be purchased more frequently. Their main advantage is that they do not require traveling with equipment, since they can be collected on the go.
Obviously we are a world of garbage producers, and we know it by our litter-lined streets, and our overflowing garbage cans. Despite recycling programs, our continued use of disposable products leads to massive environmental problems in our oceans, soil and air. And it’s not helped by the increase in technological waste that has joined the standard papers and plastics of life. So imagine how pointless it is to throw away cartridges and batteries as if they were nothing, even considering that batteries were never supposed to go with regular trash anyway.
The problem of disposable vaping is growing as vaping grows in popularity. There are, however, alternatives that can help reduce waste and provide healthier, more cost-effective options in the long run.
Alternatives to the disposable vape
For one thing, the vape carts themselves offer problems. Most are plastic, and they often contain the metal that we now know leaching in vaping oil. In general, disposable products are of lower quality than reusable products. Product manufacturers aren’t going to waste more expensive production materials on something that isn’t meant to have a long lifespan. So it already makes sense to consider better options for a healthier experience. There are several companies that make metal-free vape carts, although it doesn’t appear that any have implemented a model for reusing them, which means they’re currently paying more to produce a better product, which will cost more.
Obviously, this doesn’t actually solve the waste problem, but it’s starting in the right direction. A more expensive and better product is more likely to be associated with some sort of program to reuse it. How could this be done? Well, on the one hand, retailers could offer cash back or rebate to those who return a disposable vape cart or battery. I know a lot of people who take their beer bottles back to the store for a discount, and it probably wouldn’t be any different with vapers. This would also allow them to remain disposable.
On the other hand, another option is refillable cartridges. As long as the cartridges aren’t thrown away, neither are the batteries, which would reduce waste the most. If consumers could take their carts back to their local dispensary to refill, it would promote continued use of the products and lower the price for shoppers because they would only have to pay for the oil, not the device. . It can also work with mail order products, if the oil is shipped in a syringe, with a fairly easy way to refill the cart.
Most disposable carts these days aren’t easy to load with new oil, trust me, I’ve tried. I’m probably not the only person who doesn’t like the plastic hits at the end, but also doesn’t want to waste that last drop. In my early days of vaping, I tried several times to take the last drops from different carts and add them up, but it was incredibly difficult to both scrape off what was there and drop it off somewhere else. If the carts are specially designed for reloading, this problem can be solved. For now, the manufacturers would probably prefer that you keep buying new ones, because that’s the current sales model.
What is the waste problem?
When we get into the disposable vape issue and why we need good alternatives, here are some Basic information to consider. On the one hand, trolleys and batteries produce three types of waste, including plastic waste, which we already know is one of the most damaging elements of our environmental problems, creating whole swaths of sea water deadly to all that lives. They also produce hazardous waste and e-waste because every battery is a battery.
This vape waste problem comes from both weed smokers and e-cigarette smokers, as both are available in disposable versions. A standard Juul, for example, offers around 200 puffs. Consider how many puffs an average smoker takes per day and how often this should be updated. For heavy smokers, it’s not uncommon to switch to disposable vapes very quickly.
In terms of usage, consider that in 2016, 2.2 million vaping devices were sold, and in just one year that figure grew to 16.2 million. Much of this growth was specifically related to disposable products. According to a CDC press release in March 2021, between September 6, 2020 and March 21, 2021, there was a 96.4% increase in disposable vaping sales, representing an increase from 4 million to 7.8 million batteries. Pre-filled carts increased by 9.1%, from 12.7 million to 13.8 million. That’s a lot to throw away!
What about recycling?
Currently, carts cannot actually be recycled with other products. They contain chemical residues that make them “hazardous waste”. They are also non-standard in that they mix plastic and metal. Add to that that recycling programs for them literally don’t exist, and that means every cart gets thrown away, along with tons of batteries. One thing to consider for disposable vape alternatives is recycling.
Batteries can be recycled more easily because most cities have programs for this. To be perfectly honest, in all my years of life, I’ve never found this easy to do. For as much damage as we are told throwing away batteries causes, very few places are responsible for getting citizens to dispose of them properly.
The idea that most people will never properly dispose of a battery, coupled with the increasing use of such batteries for disposable vaping products, leads to a concerning level of hazardous waste. Technically, we have already encountered this. Before rechargeable batteries became popular in the 90s, we only talked about standard disposable batteries, and they were thrown in the trash all the time. Perhaps enough time has passed that this question is forgotten. Or maybe it lends more to the idea that people want a cheaper option right now.
One of the biggest issues to get people to care about this issue is that the disposable option is usually the cheapest option, at least when buying individual products. Until programs are launched to more easily recycle these materials or provide easy refill options that can bring prices down further, complaining about the issue is essentially pointless.
On a positive note, recent statistics point to a much larger rechargeable market, albeit slower growing. According Grand View Search, in 2021, more than 40% of the vaping market was for rechargeable products. Finding this data is not easy, however, and its accuracy is hard to say. As with most product categories where prices are higher and lower, for better or cheaper products, the cheapest disposable vapes only seem cheaper, while over time the refillable ones turn out to be most profitable option.
Disposable vapes pose an environmental problem, as well as promoting unhealthy vaping options by using cheaper materials. As the industry progresses, expect more alternatives to the disposable vape, such as cartridge returns, recycling programs, refill programs, and the use of higher quality cartridges. . For now, when buying a product, think about where it will end up when you’re done with it, and whether it’s worth spending a few extra bucks, for a better overall device.
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