10 centimes for the environment
This is how much it costs to recycle e-cigarettes

The prepaid recycling fee (vRB) is a consumer charge that Swiss manufacturers, importers and sellers voluntarily levy on their electrical appliances to finance the collection, transport and environmentally sound disposal of the appliances. In this way, they ensure that valuable raw materials are recycled and that harmful substances are not released into the environment.

All e-cigarettes – whether reusable or disposable – are electrical appliances and are subject to the Ordinance on the Return, Take-Back and Disposal of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (VREG) in Switzerland. Manufacturers, importers and retailers are therefore legally obliged to take back all types of discarded e-cigarettes including their accessories. Since 1 July 2023, SENS eRecycling and the SVTA have been offering their members a take-back system with the e-cigarette industry solution to meet these legal requirements in a simple and straightforward manner.

10 centimes for environmentally friendly disposal

Manufacturers, importers and retailers who participate in the e-cigarette industry solution voluntarily charge an advance recycling contribution (ARC) on the purchase price of their products. This currently amounts to 10 centimes for disposable and reusable e-cigarettes as well as battery packs with rechargeable batteries. Both tariffs already include the obligatory VEG (advanced disposal fee) of CHF 0.05. This is levied by Inobat. It is levied by Inobat. Accordingly, the ARC for battery packs without batteries costs only 5 centimes. The advanced recycling fee can be transferred in its entirety to the consumer. However, it may not be used as a marketing instrument in pricing policy.


ARC tariffs according to device types

Devices
ARC SENS (CHF)
VEG battery (CHF)
ARC Tariff (CHF)
Disposable e-cigarettes
0.05
0.05
0.10
Reusable e-cigarettes
0.05
0.05
0.10
Battery carrier incl. one battery
0.05
0.05
0.10
Battery carrier excl. batteries
0.05
0.05

Source: SENS & Inobat

10 centimes for collection, transport and raising consumer awareness

For the 10 centimes (the ARC SENS) per e-cigarette or rechargeable battery, SENS eRecycling, in cooperation with Swiss Post, organises the collection from the points of sale and takes care of the transport from the collection points to the recycling companies. At the same time, it checks that the e-cigarettes are recycled properly, i.e. that raw materials such as lithium, cobalt or aluminium are returned to the material cycle and that harmful substances are safely removed. Also included in the 10 cent are the nationwide communication and sensitisation of consumers to the recycling of e-cigarettes (see figure). Many people do not know that e-cigarettes contain a rechargeable battery and must therefore be disposed of separately. However, in order for 50% of e-cigarettes sold to be returned to the recycling process in future, and so that the common goal of SENS eRecycling and its partners can be achieved, it is essential that every consumer knows that e-cigarettes are electrical appliances and where he or she can dispose of their vapes properly.

The financial flow of the sector solution at a glance

In the set-up phase of the industry solution, the ARC was set in such a way that an increase in the fund can take place. Surpluses are collected by SENS E-Recycling in the "e-cigarettes" fund for the quantities of discarded e-cigarettes that arise later.

Become a vape recycler

Since 1 July 2023, manufacturers, importers and retailers can voluntarily join the e-cigarette industry solution. With this solution, SENS eRecycling and the Swiss Vape Trade Association (SVTA) ensure the environmentally sound disposal of e-cigarettes in Switzerland. Together they want to collect 50% of the e-cigarettes sold and send them for recycling. Join them and become a vape recycler too!

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