The government has launched proposals to ensure vape suppliers properly finance the cost of their separate collection and treatment when the items become waste.

The consultation suggests creating a new electric and electronic equipment (EEE) category for vapes which would mean importers and manufactures of vapes are obliged to properly finance recycling costs.

It asks for evidence of any additional costs these changes will mean for producers, compliance schemes and regulators within the sector. It also calls for suggestions to help curb the environmental impact of vapes.

The proposals were put forward following the revelation that five million vapes are thrown away every week in 2023, nearly four times the amount in the previous year.

These suggestions are part of a larger consultation to help make it easier for households to recycle electrical cords, devices and white goods. Proposals include: UK-wide collections of waste electricals directly from households, financed by producers of electrical items rather than the taxpayer; large retailers rolling out collection drop points for electrical items in-store, free of charge, without the need to buy a replacement product, and retailers and online sellers taking on responsibility for collecting unwanted or broken large electrical items such as fridges or cookers when delivering a replacement.

The consultation is open until 7 March 2024 and submissions can be made here.