In the US, that collection of nasty, soggy, chemically laden remains of cigarettes is the top item – often numbering in the thousands per cleanup – found in the sand in many parts country, along with other bits of plastic pollution.
Patrick Diamond, vice chair of Surfrider NYC, told us in an email that while he hasn’t kept specific statistics, vape paraphernalia is “now joining cigarette butts and other items as beach trash and plastic pollution which means they will make their way into the ocean as more plastic pollution.”
Public health has become a primary concern with vaping this year.
The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed 33 deaths in 24 states from illnesses related to vaping while another 1,500 lung injuries have been reported.
Each refill contains two to four pods, so that’s easily over a billion and as many as two billion little squares of plastic going into the trash each year.
At best, this foists the cost of disposal, clean up, and recycling onto the user – or the non-vaping taxpayer.