It’s the environment, stupid!

Huge contradiction between our care for the planet and disposable devices

John C. Dicey
4 min readFeb 3, 2024

“It’s the economy, stupid” is a phrase that was coined by Bill Clinton’s strategist James Carville in 1992. It was a key political and emotional touchpoint with the electorate that helped fuel the defeat of George W Bush. Plain speaking, shooting from the lip, raising the profile of a singularly important issue that gains traction with the masses.

A fumbling ‘whataboutery’ surrounded the disposable debate

So how have the extraordinary environmental downsides of disposable vapes seemingly escaped the attention and focus of our politicians, media, and the public, particularly the young people who have been purchasing them?

Amongst all the arguments surrounding the ban on disposable vapes over the past weeks, particularly those surrounding the nanny state/loss of freedom considerations, there has been one clinching argument for the legislation that appears to have been largely ignored by all. Bizarrely, given the obsession with saving the planet that is prevalent within the political class, media, and public at large (& rightly so) how could the environmental impact of disposable vapes be so overlooked.

Addiction results in loss of control on many levels — including our moral compass

It will surprise no-one that works in the field of addiction that this particular addiction has youngsters so firmly in its grip, that environmental and moral principles are cast aside without a second thought. It’s the same wayward moral compass that has otherwise societally caring and virtuous, middle class cocaine users turn a blind eye to the human poverty, pain, suffering, torture, and death that lies behind the production, transport, and sale of the white powder they routinely snort. Without shame!

The environmental arguments against disposable vapes are clear

According to Greenpeace the negative environmental impact of disposable vapes are clear:

  • They’re made from plastic and are only used once.
  • They create huge amounts of waste.
  • The number of disposable vapes getting binned each year in the UK alone, is 262 million!
  • Due to the way they’re made, disposable vapes are almost impossible to recycle.
  • Disposable vapes waste valuable resources (that could be used for the green energy transition).
  • The materials and chemicals used in vapes are hazardous and pollute the environment.
  • Less than 17% or vapers dispose of their devices appropriately (each vape contains copper wires and lithium batteries, making them potentially dangerous if not disposed of correctly).

8 vapes per second end up in the trash or are simply discarded!

In the UK alone 262 million disposable vapes a year are thrown in the trash!

The clinching argument against disposable vapes!

Aside from the fact that they’ve enabled the vape industry to capture a generation of youngsters, the biggest issue with disposable vapes is that they are, erm…disposable. How can this counter-environmental single-use product have been allowed into the marketplace in the first place?

As Greenpeace point out, for every vape sold, there’s the production of plastic, mining for materials, shipping and packaging to sell it, and then we have to deal with the waste at the end of its life.

In the UK we bin nearly 5 million vapes each week — that’s roughly 8 vapes every second. Most of them end up in landfill!

So, what are the arguments for disposable vapes?

There simply aren’t any!

Will the new UK legislation work?

Sadly, the vape industry are already finding ways around this and future legislation. Cheap vapes equipped with the theoretical functionality to be rechargeable rather than disposed of after single use will still be available. The fact that they will remain affordable enough to discard rather than bother recharging, combined with the fact that recharging such devices, largely imported from China without any safety rating is likely to be a genuine fire risk, and the convenience factor that initially drove the rise in popularity of disposable vapes, is likely to make the legislation a case of one step forward followed by one step back.

In the event that you feel trapped by vaping please do get in touch for advice and guidance — and do take a look at Allen Carr’s Easyway to Quit Vaping book — or online video program. Our Live Group Seminars are also highly effective for vapers and come with a money back guarantee.

You can read more about “The other side of vaping” here

From the desk of John C. Dicey, London, England.

Facebook my personal one — please introduce yourself here

LinkedIn please introduce yourself here

Facebook join our page here

Twitter follow us here

Press & Media contact us here

Hey! While you’re here — please do sign up to Medium and follow me — I’m not 100% sure of where this project will go — but some followers might help. Thank you :-)



John C. Dicey

Former 80-a-day smoker who was freed by Allen Carr. Now Global CEO & Senior Therapist at Allen Carr’s Easyway (since 1998) & co-author of Allen Carr books.