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December 22, 2021

The Disposal of Single-use Vaping Products in Australia

Since 1st October 2021 all nicotine vaping products now require a prescription (i.e., are now Schedule 4 medicines). This includes nicotine e-cigarettes, nicotine pods, and liquid nicotine.

There is lots of information for consumers, prescribers, and pharmacists to be found on the TGA website at this link – www.tga.gov.au/nicotine-vaping-products.

The RUM Project office is receiving queries regarding the disposal of unwanted vaping products and currently, there is no simple answer.

The single-use vaping product that contains an enclosed battery MUST NOT be placed in a RUM bin. The battery used in these vaping products is usually a lithium battery and can potentially cause an explosion in the incineration chamber when the full RUM bin is incinerated. This advice has been given by RUM’s incineration contractor. So, pharmacists and pharmacy staff please don’t put the single-use vaping products in your pharmacy’s RUM bin.

It is our understanding that the local council waste facilities are reluctant to accept vaping products because of potential environmental leaching.

We have contacted the Battery Stewardship Council and their battery collection points are NOT able to accept single-use vaping products (with the encapsulated battery). If the consumer is easily able to remove the battery from the vaping device, then these batteries can be disposed of at the available battery collection points.

We hope to be able to provide some safe alternative soon but, in the meantime, please do not put these products in your RUM bins. But unfortunately, we do not have another alternative to provide at present. Perhaps if you have the opportunity, then we would encourage consumers to not to purchase any single-use vaping products because we are not able to offer an environmentally safe disposal method at the minute.

Other vaping products that do not have an enclosed battery could be placed into your RUM bins safely, such as cartridges, replacement pods and liquid nicotine.

For safe disposal of all your other unwanted medicines, please refer to your local pharmacy for help or refer to the FAQs on www.returnmed.com.au

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