A NEW recycling scheme has been launched for vaping devices and e-cigarettes in Irvine.

Retailer VPZ teamed up with WasteCare to tackle the lithium batteries in vapes as well as the plastic that both harm the environment when discarded.

The firms said they were committed to responsibly disposing of waste as well as encouraging shoppers to choose more sustainable products.

VPZ is now offering the recycling service at its store in Irvine's High Street.

VPZ director Doug Mutter, said: “We are excited to be launching this ground-breaking service with WasteCare to respond to an emerging environmental issue.

“Any form of littering is unacceptable however the proliferation of disposable vape use has led to single-use devices being discarded in local environments.

“Our partnership with WasteCare responds to this challenge head on and vapers can come into our network of over 150 stores throughout the country, including Irvine, to recycle their vape devices, both disposable and reusable, in a safe and responsible way.

“Our service will also help us engage with adult smokers and vapers to educate them on the sustainable and environmental benefits of using reusable products."

WasteCare said they were the UK's largest independent recycling company with a specialty for tackling hazardous and challenging waste byproducts.

Peter Hunt, managing director of Wastecare, added: "With the growing demand for vapes and e-cigarettes, we are delighted that VPZ is leading the way in providing a safe and environmentally sound way to tackle what is becoming a major challenge.

“WasteCare is the UK’s only permitted recycler of portable batteries. Every vape contains a lithium battery and our plant is designed to safely recover the precious material from the vaping device, as well as the metal and plastic components in it.”

VPZ said they renewed their call for the Scottish and UK governments to bring in tighter controls and licensing for vape products.

There have been increasing calls for the banning of disposable vapes to tackle the rubbish they add to landfills and for health reasons.