We’re not going to sugarcoat it for you:  Used vape devices and empty cartridges or pods contain heavy metals, plastics, and toxins.  If not disposed of properly, these items can contaminate our water and pollute the environment for generations to come.  Additionally, materials contained in lithium-ion batteries, which power so many of our favorite devices, are non-renewable resources.  But current regulations and our waste management systems create obstacles to collecting these items for proper disposal and recycling.

According to one recent estimate, five disposable vape devices are thrown away every second in the United States. That amounts to roughly 150 million devices a year, which together contain enough lithium for about 6,000 Tesla batteries. To put it another way, the lithium-ion battery in your vape device is roughly one-third the size of the battery in your phone. That’s essentially 50 million iPhone batteries in the trash every year. Our planet may seem vast, but there’s a limit to non-renewable resources like lithium.

At KAZU we’re doing our best to lessen the environmental impact of vaping.  To start, we’ve designed our device with eventual parts harvesting and materials recycling in mind.  We’re making our devices out of recycled aluminum alloy and recycled plastic components where possible. Our packaging is recycled, recyclable, and/or biodegradable.  And when your KAZU device reaches its end of life, it will be eligible for our trade-in program that diverts non-renewable resources and other materials from our landfills so the materials can be used to make new products.  KAZU is also proud to donate 1% of profits to The Ocean Cleanup.

But that’s just us.  We’re all in this together.  Read through our FAQs to learn how you can do your part.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I dispose of my old vape device and my used cartridges or pods in the trash or curbside recycling?

No. These items are household hazardous waste, or HHW. These items are HHW because they contain heavy metals (such as cobalt, graphite, and lithium), plastics, and other compounds that can be hazardous to people and the environment. Additionally, the lithium-ion batteries in old vape devices can become damaged and catch fire in curbside trash and recycling facilities. These items must be taken to a HHW facility for proper disposal and so the lithium-ion battery in your device can be recycled. You can also dispose of your old cartridges or pods at a DEA Take Back Day collection site.

Where is my local HHW facility?

You can search for your local HHW facility at this website: www.earth911.com.

What is DEA Take Back Day?

The DEA hosts two Take Back Days a year, one in April and one in October. Traditionally, Take Back Day was a way for people to anonymously and properly dispose of prescription drugs that were expired or unneeded. In 2019, the DEA added used cartridges, pods, and vape devices (with the batteries removed), to the list of items accepted for disposal.

Where is my local DEA Take Back Day collection site?

You can search for your local DEA Take Back Day collection site at this website: https://www.dea.gov/takebackday.

Is there a way to recycle old vape devices, carts, and pods?

No.  Unfortunately, existing regulations and waste management systems do not allow for recycling of these items.  

What else can I do to lessen the environmental impact of vaping?

You can:

  • Buy rechargeable and reusable items and avoid products designed to be single use or marketed as disposable.
  • Buy your vape devices and cartridges or pods from companies that design their products with the environment in mind.  Look for glass, metal, and bamboo instead of plastics.
  • Write to your state government representatives requesting legislation to encourage and support collection and recycling of vape devices, cartridges, and pods.

What can I do with my old vape device if I live in a remote location and there is no HHW facility nearby?

In that case, you’ll need to process the device yourself for safe disposal.  Follow these steps:

  1. Discharge the device’s battery completely.
  2. Submerge the device in cold salt
    water for two weeks, covered with a secure lid.
  3. Wrap it in newspaper or
    something similar and put it in the trash.