Calls for disposable vapes ban to be extended to Wales to protect wildlife
A leading charity has warned about the dangers disposable vapes pose to animals and has called on Welsh Ministers to work with the UK Government to ensure a ban on them applies to Wales.
The UK Government is set introduce a ban England, according to reports, while Scotland is currently consulting on a ban.
While public health and wildlife protection are devolved matters, and the Welsh Government previously tried to ban the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed and public places, Welsh Ministers have suggested they do not have the devolved power to ban disposable vapes.
RSPCA Cymru says it is concerned that suppliers of disposable vapes could focus remaining stock on Wales – putting wildlife at further risk – if a ban isn’t put in place.
Disposable vapes and their impact on animals has been a growing concern for the charity’s officers over recent years.
They contain materials and poisonous substances including plastic, lithium and nicotine, all of which can be hazardous to animals.
In July, the RSPCA backed calls from the Local Government Association, which represents local authorities in England and Wales, for a ban on the sale and manufacture of single use vapes by 2024.
Billie-Jade Thomas, public affairs manager for RSPCA Cymru, said: “Disposable vapes are a real menace for animals – and we know massive numbers are being carelessly dumped as litter and posing a risk to wildlife.
“It’s great news that plans for a ban are progressing, but it’s so important any ban extends to Wales. If it doesn’t, we’re concerned that suppliers may even turn their attention to the Welsh market if other nations in Great Britain have banned them.
“Animals could be in danger by ingesting liquid from discarded, disposable vapes; while strewn devices can also impact habitats.
“Dealing with this in Wales will be positive for the environment and for animal welfare, and ensure wildlife isn’t left vulnerable. That’s why we urge the UK Government and Welsh Government to work together to bring clarity to this situation, and ensure disposable vapes become a thing of the past in Wales.”
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