SGF launches disposable vape recycling pilot

New recycling pilot launches following debate over single-use vape ban

(Left to right) Eve Peters and Anand Cheema stand in a convenience store with their hands sitting on top of a disposable vape recycling bins.
Eve Peters and Anand Cheema kickstarted the SGF’s new pilot in Cheema’s store Costcutter – Fresh in Falkirk.

THE Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) has launched a new pilot scheme in partnership with Elfbar for the disposal of single-use vape products with new recycling bins in stores.

The pilot launched on 26 September in Costcutter – Fresh in Falkirk where store owner, Anand Cheema, took receipt of a vape recycling bin which will also be rolling out to a further 20 SGF members’ stores in October.

Anand Cheema said: “I am delighted to participate in the pilot programme and to be able to offer my customers an in-store return point, through the vape bin, for their used vape products.

“As a convenience retailer, I want to play my part in reducing the littering associated with single-use vaping products which, in turn, will benefit our local environment.”

The SGF said the new programme is designed to ensure the raw materials used in disposable vapes are properly dismantled and recycled which falls in line with Elfbar’s own commitment to the delivery of a closed recycling loop by 2025.

Stores participating in the pilot will have their bins collected by Recover, a UK lithium battery recycling company, to ensure the devices are handled and recycled responsibly.

New SGF & Elfbar branded disposable vape recycling bins.
The new disposable vape recycling bins will be rolling out across 20 SGF members’ stores this October.

Pete Cheema, chief executive at the SGF, said: “A key focus for Scottish Grocers’ Federation is the promotion of responsible community retailing.

“That is why we value the opportunity to work in partnership with Elfbar to address the environmental damage done by single-use vaping products if they are not disposed of responsibly.”

The new pilot comes about as debate of the future of single-use products has come into the news lately, with first minister Humza Yousaf announcing there will be a consultation on the potential ban of disposable vapes in his new programme for Government announcement earlier in September.

This pilot also marks the first step in a long-term programme according to the SGF which will help to improve recycling options for disposable vape products which Cheema said would be discussed further at the SGF Annual Conference on 12 and 13 October.

Pete Cheema said: “This is the first part of an Elfbar and SGF ‘Recycle Used Vapes’ programme. however there will be a further announcement at our SGF Annual Conference next month around waste and recycling options for these products and which convenience retailers will have the opportunity to sign up to over the two days of our flagship event.”

Eve Peters, director of government affairs and spokesperson for Elfbar UK, said: ” We welcome the opportunity to join with SGF in this important extension of our GreenAwareness recycling programme.

“To date, our own programme has covered 70 stores in England and Wales with plans to scale up in terms of recycling bin coverage by the end of the year, including the 20 SGF member stores in Scotland in this pilot partnership with SGF.”