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The Environmental Cost of E-Cigarettes

hace 2 meses
What is the problem with e-cigarettes?

E-cigarettes create lots of waste. Around 1.3 million single-use e-cigarettes are thrown away in the UK every week.

Researchers wrote in a scientific paper that vaping is more eco-friendly than smoking, but that vape waste is a new threat to the planet.

E-cigarettes aren't being recycled.

Single-use vapes, which contain precious metals like lithium in their batteries, are rarely recycled. As their batteries and circuit boards break down, they leach toxic chemicals into the environment, and their covers break down into harmful microplastics.

Are people aware of the environmental impact of vaping?

Most people don't know what to do with their e-cigarettes when they are finished using them. Manufacturers often don't offer clear guidance on how to dispose of their vapes.

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Vocabulary List


E-cigarettes: a device that produces a vapor, containing nicotine, that is inhaled
Recycling: the process of turning something that would be thrown away into something that can be used again
Lithium: a chemical element that is used in batteries
Microplastics: very small pieces of plastic
Single-use: made to be used once and then thrown away
Precious metals: metals with a high economic value, such as gold and silver
Circuit board: a thin board that contains a set of electronic circuits
Leach: to slowly release a substance from a material into a liquid
Toxic: poisonous
Dispose of: to throw something away
Manufacturers: companies that make products
Guidance: advice or instructions

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Discussion Questions


  • How do you feel about e-cigarettes?
  • Should manufacturers be responsible for making sure that their products are recycled?
  • What do you think should be done in order to reduce the amount of waste from e-cigarettes?
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Source: https://www.euronews.com/green/2022/11/26/two-e-cigarettes-are-thrown-away-every-second-in-the-uk-what-damage-do-they-do
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