The Best Disposable Vape Alternatives: How to Vape Without the Waste - Part I

Table Of Contents

Foreword: Back in June 2022, I wrote a short blog (one of a few!) about alternatives to disposable vapes, based then on my feelings about them and the hardware level we had to replace them for those who wanted to switch. Since then, many things have changed: hardware has advanced a lot, and disposable vapes have increased in usage and come quite publically under fire in the media. On top of that, there are murmurings of a ban or restriction on disposable vapes, so now seems as good a time as any to revisit that blog, expand upon it, and update the available options for transitioning from disposable vapes.

I have talked in several other blogs about single-use disposable vape devices. This article aims to help you decide if you want to up your game to a cheaper, more sustainable alternative.

The rise in popularity of disposable vapes has been undeniable in recent years. These convenient devices have captured the attention of many new vapers, but their environmental impact and cost have raised concerns. This article will explore some of the best alternatives to disposable vapes, allowing you to enjoy vaping without contributing to unnecessary waste.

If you are intent on using single-use devices, it's essential to mention the importance of responsible disposal. Please make sure to dispose of them properly. Recycling programs are now available in some vape shops - where you can recycle your disposables responsibly. By doing this, you can ensure that your waste is handled in an environmentally friendly manner.

In conclusion, many alternatives to disposable vapes allow you to enjoy vaping without contributing to excessive waste and breaking the bank! Whether you opt for refillable pod systems, rechargeable vape pens, rebuildable atomisers, or commit to responsible disposal, every effort counts towards a greener vaping experience. Let's embrace these alternatives and positively impact our costs, vaping enjoyment and the environment.

What is a Disposable Vape - and consider an alternative ?

What Is a Disposable Vape and Why Consider an Alternative?

Disposable vapes, such as Elf Bars, Lost Marys, Crystal Bars, Geek Bars, etc., are single-use electronic cigarettes. They work the same as a vape pod system by having a battery heat up e-liquid via a coil. The only real difference is that the lithium battery contained in the (usually) plastic shell has no means of being recharged. Likewise, the Tank (atomiser) at the top of the device has no way of being refilled - despite a mesh coil being able to heat many times the amount of liquid allowed to be contained in the atomiser under UK law. The idea is that they are convenient for the end user. If you consider not being able to charge or refill a device convenient ...

The Downsides of Disposable Vapes: Waste, Cost, and Lack of Customisation

This level of "convenience" generates several problems, including toxic waste, Increased personal costs and not to mention the bad press it’s giving the vape industry.

The Environmental Impact of Disposable Vapes

While disposable vapes have gained popularity among new vapers due to their ease of use, their convenience comes at a considerable cost to the environment. The single-use nature of these devices contributes to unnecessary waste, as they cannot be refilled or recharged.

It is currently estimated that over 5 Million disposable vapes are being discarded in the UK every week - an enormous amount of waste that could be avoided. (Source: Material Focus)

When these disposable vapes are discarded, they end up in landfills, adding to the growing problem of electronic waste. These devices’ lithium batteries and plastic shells can take years to decompose, releasing harmful chemicals into the environment during the process. This poses a threat to our ecosystem and affects our overall well-being.

Moreover, the cost of constantly purchasing new disposable vapes can quickly add up. While they may seem affordable initially, the long-term expenses can be significant. This is where exploring alternatives becomes crucial, as it reduces waste and saves money in the long run.

The Financial Cost of Disposable Vapes

Disposable vapes can cost anywhere from £5 to £15 per device. If a person uses one disposable vape per week, this adds up to between £260 to £780 per year spent on vapes alone. Over time, the costs become substantial, and money could have been saved on more long-term solutions.

The Lack of Customisation with Disposable Vapes

Since disposable vapes contain a set amount of e-liquid and use pre-determined coil resistances, there is no opportunity for customising aspects like nicotine strength, flavour or vapour production. Some vapers enjoy experimenting with different variables to find their perfect vape. Disposables do not allow this kind of personalisation and fine-tuning of the vaping experience.

The Unsustainable Nature of Disposable Vape

Beyond the waste and cost aspects, disposable vapes represent an unsustainable model that is ultimately at odds with harm reduction principles. Since they are designed to be used once and then disposed of, they promote a "use and discard" mentality that is hard to reconcile with a more sustainable future.

Is switching to a reusable vape a better alternative for you and the planet

Switching to a reusable vape can be a better alternative for you and the planet. It addresses the issues of waste, cost, and lack of customisation associated with disposable vapes and promotes a more sustainable approach to vaping.

Investing in a reusable vape device can significantly reduce the amount of waste generated. Instead of discarding multiple disposable vapes every week, you can refill and recharge your reusable vape, minimising the environmental impact. This small change can make a big difference in the long run, especially considering the alarming number of disposable vapes being thrown away each week in the UK.

In addition to being environmentally friendly, reusable vapes can also save you money. While the upfront cost of a reusable device may be higher, the long-term savings are substantial. Rather than constantly purchasing disposable vapes, you only need to buy e-liquid and replacement coils for your reusable device. This not only reduces your expenses but also provides an opportunity for customisation.

Unlike disposable vapes, reusable devices allow you to customise various aspects of your vaping experience. You can choose from multiple e-liquids with different nicotine strengths and flavours, tailoring your vape to suit your preferences. Furthermore, reusable devices often offer adjustable settings for vapour production, giving you the flexibility to fine-tune your vaping experience to perfection.

By embracing reusable vapes, you are making a wise financial decision and aligning yourself with a more sustainable future. It's a step towards reducing electronic waste, conserving resources, and promoting a healthier environment. Additionally, reusable vapes support harm reduction principles by providing a long-lasting alternative to the "use and discard" mentality prevalent with disposable vapes.

In conclusion, switching to a reusable vape is undoubtedly the way to go if you want a cost-effective, customisable, and environmentally-conscious vaping solution. It allows you to enjoy your vaping experience while minimising waste and contributing to a more sustainable world. Make the switch today and be a part of the positive change.


Part I | Part 2 - >

Further Reading: 

Disposable Vapes and Why We Say No. - May 2022

Disposable Vape Alternatives, it's time to switch it up. - June 2022

Disposable Vapes - The tide seems to be changing - Disposable Vape Ban? - September 2023

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