+353-1-416-8900REST OF WORLD
+44-20-3973-8888REST OF WORLD
1-917-300-0470EAST COAST U.S
1-800-526-8630U.S. (TOLL FREE)

Global Overview of Recycling Programs for e-Cigarettes, Heated Tobacco Products, and Vaporizers Business for 2022 and Future Prospects of Electronic Devices & Consumables Development

  • PDF Icon


  • 67 Pages
  • May 2022
  • Region: Global
  • Wingle Group Electronics
  • ID: 5597842

The Future of e-Cigarettes, HTPs, and Vaporizers Recycling Will Depend on Producers' Product Life Cycle Programs

Every year, 44.7 million tonnes of e-waste is generated around the world - containing up to US$ 65 billion worth of raw materials like gold, silver and platinum sent to landfill. The amount of global e-waste is expected to increase by almost 17% to 52.2 million tonnes in 2021, or around 8% every year.

Vape products are e-waste since they contain lithium-ion batteries & a heating element. Disposing of e-waste is a considerable challenge due to the many different types of chemicals and materials in these products. Electronic vape products present at least two problems, as their vaporizers contain a circuit board, which can contain plastics and heavy metals and they also use lithium-ion batteries. 

There are no direct regulations for recycling or utilization of e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products, vaporizers and cellulose acetate filters as product items in the EU, USA, China and Japan. There is legislation that regulates waste management and e-waste in particular. But e-cigarettes, HTPs and vaporizers are not covered by any one of the categories of electrical and electronic equipment that cause waste.

Big Tobacco has its own recycling programs and recycling targets for the nearest future:

  • PMI established two hubs in Europe and Asia that inspect, process, and separate materials from electronic devices for recycling. Effective recycling rate of IQOS devices increased from 30% in 2018 to 40% in 2020. Target of recycling is 80% by 2025.
  • BAT replaces plastic elements of vapor products with pulp-based alternatives. The share of recycled waste is 79-80% in 2019-2021. Target of recycling is 95% by 2025.
  • JTI launched a return scheme of used devices through the recycling boxes at shops. In 2020 67% of produced waste were recycled. Target of waste reduction is 20% by 2030.
  • Imperial Brands launched take-back recycling schemes for used vaping devices and pods. Recycling rate decreased from 69% in 2017 to 61% in 2021. Target of recycling rate is 75% by 2030.
  • Other vape companies launch their own recycling programs by return schemes (DotMod, Shanlaan, Dovpo, Vinn). Innokin works on battery utilization programs. 
  • Recycling companies (Gaiaca and TerraCycle) cooperate with vape manufacturers to provide services for collecting and recycling e-waste. Some vape producers cooperate directly with recycling companies: RELX cooperates with China Siyan Foundation for Poverty Alleviation.
  • The Bowman company offers the refill stations to fill empty vapor bottles/pods. It will help to reduce plastic usage for vapor bottles production in future.

It is expected that the future of e-cigarettes, HTPs and vaporizers recycling will depend on producers` product life cycle programs.

Main vape companies recycling decisions include:

  • using composition of PLA and plastic or Starch blend and plastic for device body;
  • all vape companies tend to use paper packaging;
  • inner packaging consists of paper or paper and PLA. 

The transition to eco-packaging faces the problem of a limited PLA amount and its high cost. The price of PLA is higher the price of non-biodegradable plastic. Another problem is that heated sticks and filters are not biodegradable and vape companies pay not much attention to its recycling.

Report Scope

The report provides a global overview of recycling programs for e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products, and vaporizers business for 2022 and future prospects. The report contains an analysis of recycling policies in economic zones and recycling activities of Big Tobacco companies, other tobacco companies and recycling companies in cooperation with vape companies.

The first section provides a general overview of typical construction of vaporizing devices and used materials that may cause waste.

The second section gives an overview of recycling policies in European Union, USA, China and Japan at government level.

The third section contains three subsections dedicated to an overview of recycling policies of Big Tobacco (Altria Group, Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International and Imperial Brands), other vape companies and recycling companies that cooperate with vape companies that provide waste reduction solutions. This main purpose of this section is to explore Original Equipment Manufacturers which offer vaping products made of recyclable or biodegradable materials.

In the report appendix presented profiles of all vaping devices and consumables made of recyclable or biodegradable materials, mentioned in this document.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary1. Typical Construction of Vaporizing Devices and Used Materials
2. Overview of the Main Recycling Policies in Economic Zones
2.1. EU Regulatory Framework
2.2. US Regulatory Framework
2.3. China Regulatory Framework
2.4. Japan Regulatory Framework
3. Brief Overview of the Recycling Programs in Vaping Related Business
3.1. Big Tobacco Business
3.1.1. Philip Morris International
3.1.2. British American Tobacco
3.1.3. Japan Tobacco International
3.1.4. Imperial Brands
3.2. Other Vape Companies
3.2.1. DotMod
3.2.2. Innokin
3.2.3. AVD
3.2.4. VINN
3.2.5. Dovpo
3.2.6. ALD Group
3.2.7. Riot
3.2.8. Soyee
3.2.9. Altria Group
3.3. Recycling Companies
3.3.1. Gaiaca
3.3.2. Terracycle
3.3.3. RELX and China Siyuan Foundation for Poverty Alleviation
3.3.4. Canadian Cannabis Companies
3.3.5. Bowman
ReferencesAppendix A. Vaping Products With Recyclable Materials
List of Tables
Table 1. Number of EU Countries That Support Circular Economy Goals
Table 2. Actual Parameters and Targets of Bat Recycling Activity
Table 3. Imperial Brands Waste Management Performance
List of Charts
Chart 1. Expected Global Production Capacities of Bioplastic in 2026
Chart 2. Use of Materials in PMI Packaging in 2020
Chart 3. Recycling Rate of IQOS Devices at the CIRCLE Hubs
Chart 4. Waste Generated by Tobacco Business, Thousand Tones



Companies Mentioned

  • Advanced Vapor Devices
  • ALD Group
  • Altria Group
  • AVD
  • Bowman
  • British American Tobacco
  • Canadian Cannabis Companies
  • China Siyuan Foundation for Poverty Allviation
  • DotMod
  • Dovpo
  • Gaiaca
  • Imperial Brands
  • Innokin
  • Japan Tobacco International
  • Philip Morris International
  • RELX
  • Riot e-Liquid
  • Shenzhen Innokin Technology Co. Ltd.
  • Soyee
  • Terracycle
  • VINN