Councils in England and Wales have called on the UK government to ban the sale of single-use e-cigarettes by 2024 on environmental and health grounds.
The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils in England and Wales, said it was vital that the ban came into effect quickly because the European Union has proposed a ban in 2026, France is set to introduce a ban in December this year and single-use e-cigarettes could flood Britain as the market closes.
David Fothergill, chairman of the LGA’s community wellbeing board, said: “Single-use e-cigarettes are fundamentally flawed in design and are inherently unsustainable products, which means an outright ban would be more effective than recycling more e-cigarettes.”
The UK e-cigarette industry Association has defended single-use e-cigarettes.
“Single-use e-cigarettes have been around for more than a decade, they’re cheap, they’re readily available and they help smokers quit,” John Dunn, director general of the association, told BBC Radio on Saturday.
1.3 million single-use e-cigarettes are thrown away every week, posing a hazard to recycling and causing bin fires. The LGA says single-use e-cigarettes are designed as a whole so the batteries cannot be separated from the plastic, making them almost impossible to recycle without special treatment.
The LGA also said councils were concerned about the impact of e-cigarettes on children and young people.