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ECOLOGY: "The Zero Waste Vape", a commitment of the e-cigarette sector to recycling!

ECOLOGY: "The Zero Waste Vape", a commitment of the e-cigarette sector to recycling!

Ecology, recycling, environmental protection… Actions which are more than ever on the agenda! And as you know, this also concerns the e-cigarette sector with the recycling of batteries, used equipment but above all vials of e-liquids! A chance for professionals, " The Vape Zero Waste“, A recent initiative invites shops to invest in using collection bins to ensure recycling of up to 99% of used liquid bottles. To find out more, the drafting of offers you a fantastic dive into the world of recycling!


Today more than ever, recycling is a major ecological issue for our future and that of our children. In our daily life or in an e-cigarette store, these little simple gestures can make a real difference! You know that every second in the world, 137 cigarette butts are thrown on the ground. This gesture, which at first seems harmless, has in fact a very significant impact on the environment. A single butt can indeed contaminate up to 000 liters of water due to the thousands of harmful substances, and sometimes carcinogens, contained in cigarettes. More than an alternative to smoking, vaping can also have ecological virtues! You still have to play the game and recycle the thousands of bottles of e-liquids that are used every day!

In this context, two groups of shops in Brest (Like Cigarette) launched the initiative " The Vape Zero Waste" page (in French). Fabien Delabarre et Francois Prigent couldn't stand to see vials of e-liquids going in the trash and embarked on an ambitious project: that of being able to offer a turnkey and inexpensive organization in order to recycle used e-liquid bottles.

In order to tell you more about it, we are offering you an interview with the founders of this ecological project which we hope will be very successful!

“THE MORE CRAZY YOU ARE, THE MORE WE SORT! " : Hello, you are the instigator of the project "Vape Zero Waste", an eco responsible project. Can you introduce this commitment and explain to us what exactly is it ?

The Vape Zero Waste : This commitment is the answer to the concerns and questions of Francois Prigent, employee of Like Cigarette Brest. I am the Manager of this structure which brings together 4 electronic cigarette stores. François is in an eco-responsible personal approach and spoke a lot about the great mess linked to the classification of nicotine as a dangerous product, making the vials of e-liquids single-use while they are produced in recyclable plastic. As a reminder, only 0 mg vials of nicotine can be discarded in a yellow bin ... We asked manufacturers and carried out our own research and once
we have decided to open other electronic cigarette shops to do the same thing in a collaborative and non-lucrative way.

Delabarre Fabien (to the left) / Prigent Francis (Right)

- How is this initiative organized on the ground? "The Vape Zero Waste" is only for specialized shops or it concerns all the shops that sell vaping products (tobacconists, supermarket, relays, kiosks ...) ?

The organization is quite simple; when we are contacted by a shop wishing to recycle as many vials as possible, we ask them to identify the local operator who will collect the used vials. As soon as he has given us the contact details of the service provider, we tell him where to buy the collection bins and we provide him with the logo so that she can dress the bins and communicate on her initiative.

I hope that the Facebook page " The Vape Zero Waste »Will be a grouping of all sensitive and active French boutiques in terms of eco-responsibility. I invite the other operators you quote to copy us so that there is less waste of non-valued plastics but under a name other than “Zero Waste Vape” which I wish to reserve for professional and trained vaping specialists.

- We are seeing more and more shops and businesses in the vape sector that are engaged in sorting and recycling but the organization is sometimes "fuzzy" ... Can you tell us which companies are involved in recycling and what are the exact methods that are used ?

In my research I found an operator able to take care of dirty plastic of industrial origin. He crushes it, cleans it and remelt it in plastic to be resold. This operator is called CHIMIREC, he commits to a revaluation to 99%. This company can be contacted directly but private sorting centers also do the intermediary.

- What guarantees you to 100% the recycling of this plastic ?

We were able to benefit from some feedback and questions remained about the real revaluation of the vials once entrusted to the service provider, because of the logos on the labels. We therefore decided to recommend removing the labels from the vials before handing them over to the collection bin. Indeed the dilution of the nicotine plus the very small quantity of e-liquid in a used vial means that with a cleaning procedure in the rules and thanks to the non-porous qualities of the plastics used we believe that our plastic waste can and should be recast as the service provider undertakes to do.

We are not the operators, just the ordering parties, so to guarantee 100%, an internal recycling channel for vaping should be set up by all the operators and first-line manufacturers. The other way to guarantee 100% recycling would also be to have used vials declassified to allow customers to throw them in the yellow bin. I think that TPD2 will not be able to hide the problem of ecology in our business and that we must, with the tools we have today, get ahead by getting customers used to bringing us back used vials.

- In your opinion, can ecology and, more particularly, the recycling of used vials allow vaping to gain popularity? ?

On this point, the vape should already be very popular. A cigarette butt pollutes around 500 liters of water, not to mention an extremely polluting manufacturing process. Smokers switching to e-cigarettes significantly improve their health and almost equally that of the environment. Our initial objective is purely eco-responsible, to try to do better by looking more objectively at our practices in a mirror. An industry as young as vaping should have been much more "green" from the start (if the TPD forcing the packaging of nicotine e-liquids in 10 ml had not gone through this). Let's hope that our initiative spreads as much as possible and that it is also a lever to improve the image of vaping at its level.

- It's not always easy to motivate businesses to play the game. If you dismiss the deep convictions of some, what do you propose to motivate most vaping specialists to play the game of recycling ?

Currently we do not want to welcome in the adventure a vape shop that would wait for compensation. The cost of recycling vials is very low and stores wanting to join must be primarily in an ecological motivation.

- You were talking about e liquid manufacturers what are their positions and their approaches towards zero waste ?

We received encouragement from some brands. Finally, they seem to be mainly observing our approach. Which is understandable but a bit contradictory as well. It is indeed the distribution network that tries to tackle a complex problem from PDT and reported on the manufacturers first, the second distribution network and the third customers.
Whether through "La Vape Zéro Déchet" or other initiatives, I believe that they should act more because even if the brands are linked by the TPD the fact remains the same: they package several million single-use vials by year.

- Your project is recent but today how many professionals participate in "The Vape Zero Waste"? Who should I contact to get started ?

After a whole month of launch, we have 9 stores already having bins in place and 11 others that will put them very soon. And many many contacts with other stores wishing to join.
The "collaborative" aspect is in full swing because since its launch we have been able to harmonize our practices and also recycle used batteries !! To contact us just pass us a private message on the Facebook from the vape zero waste.

- Thank you for responding to our questions. We hope that this approach will be followed by as many professionals as possible in the sector.


To become a member or to find out more about the eco responsible project "La Vape Zéro Déchet", go to official Facebook page.


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About the Author

Editor-in-chief of, the reference site for vaping news. Engaged in the world of vaping since 2014, I work every day to ensure that all vapers and smokers are informed.