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Let’s stop widespread plastic waste in March 2019

Yesterday, Theresa May pledged to eradicate all avoidable plastic waste in the UK by 2042. It is a worthy goal, and will be popular since nobody really likes waste, especially if it is entirely unnecessary. And at Freedom to Vape, we have a great suggestion for Mrs May as to how she can save a massive amount of plastic waste in one fell swoop.

One of the aims of Freedom to Vape is to lobby the government for removal of pointless regulations on vaping imposed by the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), one of which is limiting e-liquid bottle sizes to 10ml for no discernible reason.

To explain how absurd this is, if a vaper were to use 5ml of liquid per day, it equates to around 1,800ml over a year. If buying in 100ml size bottles, the packaging only extends to 18 bottles per annum. Under TPD regulations, though, the number of plastic bottles required increases ten-fold to 180. Again, for no reason whatsoever; the very definition of “avoidable”.

Multiply those 160 odd extra bottles by the nearly 3 million vapers in the UK according to the most recent surveys, and that equates to a huge amount of plastic waste which is entirely unnecessary.

Additionally, many liquid sellers prior to enforcement of the TPD sold liquid in glass bottles, not plastic ones. And this is without even mentioning the additional regulation requiring that vape juice must be accompanied with a leaflet. Many suppliers did not sell bottles of fluid in boxes before the TPD and now need to manufacture boxes just to keep leaflets in.

The result of the TPD has been a huge rise in the level of environmental waste. If the government is serious about green issues and tackling waste, it is a no-brainer that they should scrap the TPD regulations on vaping the moment we leave the EU in March 2019.

We would argue that the regulations on vaping imposed by the EU should all be repealed but the regulation limiting bottle size is particularly futile and creates inconvenience as well as being undoubtedly environmentally-unfriendly. In the battle against avoidable plastic waste, allowing larger bottle sizes is an easy win and would show that the government is serious about the commitments announced yesterday.

- Martin Cullip 


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