WORCESTERSHIRE County Councillors have voted unanimously to support a ban on disposable vapes.

At a full council meeting on November 9, the councillors voted to support the Local Government Association's (LGA) view that single-use vapes should be banned by 2024.

Tenbury's councillor David Chambers, who is chairman of the council's children and families overview and scrutiny committee, has been calling for the ban for some time. He told councillors at the meeting: "In recent years smoking for all ages has reduced thanks in part to the warnings on packaging. But vaping has become part of daily life and it is clear that manufacturers and distributors have unashamedly and blatantly promoted vapes in bright colours, which are enticing to children."

Councillor Chambers told the Tenbury Advertiser that he was delighted the call for the ban had received approval from all county councillors.

Other countries around the world have recently taken measures to limit the sale of vapes, and the LGA has called for the UK government to do the same.

Discarded vapes create environmental waste and pose a threat to the public's safety, because lithium batteries can become flammable when crushed.

Research conducted by the charity Material Focus found that eight single-use vapes were being thrown away in the UK every second this year, a fourfold increase on 2022. A You Gov survey had also found that a third of 16 to 18 year olds who vaped simply threw their e-cigarettes in the bin.

The lithium in those products would be enough to create 5,000 electric car batteries a year, the research showed.

The potential cost of collecting and recycling vapes, according to Material Focus, is £200 million, which the charity has said should be paid for by vape producers, importers and retailers.

After news that the UK government was considering a ban, the RSPCA's public affairs manager Harriet Main said: "Discarded disposable vapes pose a threat to the environment and animals - so this news marks a great day right across England.

"The infrastructure for recycling vapes just isn't available - and many vapes are simply being needlessly tossed away in our communities.

"Animals could be ingesting liquid from discarded disposable vapes. Dealing with this is positive for the environment and for animal welfare, and we look forward to working with the UK government to ensure a ban can be introduced as soon as possible."