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Concerned Redditor calls out major issue with the rapid rise of vaping: 'Just harm all the way down'

"Every time I go on a walk, I pick up at least three vapes."

Disposable vapes plastic pollution

Photo Credit: iStock

Unfortunately, vaping has become extremely popular over the past decade. One in 20 Americans use e-cigarettes, and a shocking one in 10 middle and high school students admit to using them. 

The sheer amount of single-use disposable vapes available today is causing a major problem for our planet. 

One Reddit user took to the r/Anticonsumption subreddit to lament the problem, writing, "You see them everywhere, just how big of an environmental issue are disposable vapes?" 

The Redditor went on to reference a study done by Truth Initiative highlighting how young people dispose of their vapes. Spoiler alert — there is no good way to discard vapes. 

While this Redditor's original complaint was that he sees vapes on the ground everywhere — which is a terrible way for people to dispose of them — apparently, throwing them in the trash isn't much better. 

On top of plastic vapes taking hundreds of years to decompose in landfills, their lithium-ion batteries are also a fire hazard when disposed of inappropriately and are also a waste of lithium that could have been recycled

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that 150 million disposable vapes are thrown away yearly, which equals enough lithium for roughly 6,000 Teslas. 

According to a survey from Truth Initiative, 68% of disposable e-cigarette users aged 15-24 threw their empty disposable e-cigarettes in the trash, 13% dropped them in regular recycling bins, and 9% littered them on the ground, while only 8% sent them to electronic recycling facilities. 

Truth Initiative suggests a couple of options to "safely dispose" of e-cigarettes, but they are not easy, and they depend on the type of vape and your local waste department's restrictions.

"With 19% of current vapers tossing five or more vapes in the trash every month, empty disposable e-cigarettes are piling up and contributing to a growing global e-waste problem," said the organization. 

Reddit users agreed that disposable vapes are a massive problem. 

"The push for everything to have batteries, everything to have chips, everything to be electric, is hastening our downfall," wrote one user. 

Another commented, "Every time I go on a walk, I pick up at least 3 vapes that people have either dropped or just thrown on the ground. I honestly hate those obnoxiously bright coloured hunks of plastic."

One Redditor used some colorful language to explain how much they despise vapes, saying, "I f****** hate vapes. Gets kids addicted, gets factory workers sick, damages the environment with s*** like this. Just harm all the way down."

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