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UPDATE: Council passes motion supporting ban on 'hazardous' single-use vapes

Updated: May 9, 2023

The motion, proposed by Councillor van Sweeden, has been been passed unanimously by the Net Zero Committee.

By Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco

Photo Credit: Material Focus

Over 1.3 million single-use vapes are discarded each week in the UK, according to research by non-profit organisation Material Focus.

Concerns over the environmental effects of single-use vapes have led a number of Scottish councils to express support for a nation-wide ban of the product.

A like minded motion was proposed by Kairin van Sweeden, a SNP councillor for Tillydrone/Seaton/Old Aberdeen ward, during Tuesday’s full Council meeting.

Elected to Aberdeen City Council in 2022, van Sweeden has served as an campaigner with various environmental and pro-independence groups.

van Sweeden told The Gaudie that she first became aware of the issue after hearing reports about single-use vapes on BBC Radio Scotland. After being contacted by a constituent with similar concerns, van Sweeden spoke to fellow Councillor Alex McLellan and began to draft a motion with his help.

‘... Single use vapes pose a number of concerns,’ the motion states, ‘... including but not limited to the loss of critical raw materials such as Lithium and Copper, the impacts of hazardous waste, the loss of plastic, and fire risk.’

The motion instructs Council officers ‘to write to the Scottish Government, as part of their review of the environmental impacts and management of single use vapes, expressing Aberdeen City Council’s support for a proposed ban on single use vapes and management of single use vapes, and to support measures to ban their sale.’

It also instructs officers to prepare a public communications campaign highlighting the ‘environmental and health impacts of single-use vapes.’

Organised by environmental activist Laura Young, (@LessWasteLaura), the #BanDisposableVapes campaign has helped bring the issue to a national stage. In recent months, a number of Scottish councils have passed motions in support of a ban.

Here in Aberdeen, van Sweeden told The Gaudie that she has been pleased with the support of her fellow councillors so far.

The motion was referred to the Net Zero, Environment, and Transport Committee, which unanimously passed the motion this afternoon.


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