What Was Learned From The Glastonbury Disposable Vape Ban?

Before the Glastonbury Festival, it was announced and widely reported that the festival would request that attendees not bring disposable vapes to the festival.

Whilst its reasons for adding vapes were based on environmental impact, something that could have been solved by having dedicated recycling stations, there is potential anecdotal evidence that the ban may have been both ineffective and ultimately more harmful in the long run.

Plenty of people brought vapes to Glastonbury regardless, not all of which were reusable devices bought from a vape supplier, and some accounts exist of people who tried to use the festival as a way to experiment with not using any nicotine at all.

It went about as well as one could expect, with Mixmag writer Megan Townsend turning to cigarettes instead throughout the weekend, despite an admission that they are disgusting and dissatisfying.

This was a curious issue with the list of items you should not pack; even following their logic that disposable vapes should not be used and people who want to vape should buy a more robust device, cigarettes, tobacco paraphernalia and smoking tools were allowed.

Given that cigarette ash and ends are also harmful, polluting and difficult to recycle, this seemed like a strange and contradicting policy, and so it turned out to be.

Ultimately, whilst there were drop-off bins at the festival entrance, it is hard to tell the difference purely by sight between a slim pod-based vape and a disposable vape, so a lot of “banned” vapes were allowed in regardless.

Whether it made a difference to the number of devices that ended up at landfill is not statistically known, but it does suggest that the policy may not have actually been effective, and few other notable festivals have taken up the same vaping policy.

With that said, this is an opportunity for the industry to upsell people buying disposable vapes to a more permanent pod-based or tank-based solution instead.