Metal recyclers call on festival bosses to ban disposable vapes

The British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) has called on music festival organisers to ban disposable vapes, saying they present a fire risk.  

Single use vapes, most of which last around 600 puffs, can be discarded at household recycling centres or at retailers that sell the devices or other electrical items

The BMRA called on all festivals bosses to follow the lead of those of those at the Glastonbury festival, which starts today, who have asked attendees not to bring them on environmental grounds, though it is unclear if they will be confiscated.  

According to research by Eunomia Research and Consulting it is estimated that lithium-ion batteries are responsible for around 48% of all waste fires occurring in the UK each year, costing the UK economy £158 million a year. 


James Kelly of the British Metals Recycling Association said: “We have seen the devastation of fires at member sites caused by lithium-ion batteries being placed in the incorrect waste stream and we would hate to see this occur at a summer festival. 

“Lithium-ion batteries in vapes are so small. There is a possibility if the weather takes a turn for the worse that the vape could end up in the mud, the battery could become separated from its casing and fall under the surface. If the land is used for grazing, this could potentially be swallowed by an animal. Let’s hope people are responsible.” 

Vapes are common at festivals as they are popular among the 35 and under demographic


The BMRA serves as the representative body for the £7 billion metals recycling sector in the United Kingdom. This sector encompasses approximately 2,000 businesses and provides employment to over 15,000 individuals. 

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