Hello fellow riders and safety-conscious citizens! Today, we’re delving into a matter that has been lurking on the surface of our roads, endangering not just our beloved two-wheelers, but also the noble efforts of our NHS Blood Bikers. We’re talking about the discarded disposable vapes that create dangerous punctures in our motorcycle tyres. Buckle up, because this is a matter that affects us all.
Did you know that vape manufacturers are churning out nearly 2 billion disposable vapes each year? But here’s the kicker – only 1% of these disposable vapes are recycled. Think about all that waste piling up and you’ll start to see the scope of the issue. It’s not just about the pretty packaging and the alluring flavours, it’s about the impact on our environment and personal safety.
These disposable vapes are everywhere. About 4 million people use them each month. They line the shelves of over 3,000 shops across the UK, raking in a staggering £2.8 billion in revenue. They might look sweet and harmless, packaged in vibrant colours that beckon you, but there’s a hidden danger lurking within. The nicotine content, already legally limited to 20 mg, is often exceeded by manufacturers. This leads to very serious health problems for both adults and children. For as little as £1.99, you’re getting more than just a puff of vapour – you are seriously risking your health. They should only really be used as part of a managed ‘Stop Smoking’ programme by a health professional. They are not harmless!
Now, let’s talk about what happens after the puff is gone. It’s no secret that proper disposal methods for vape equipment are scarce. This results in discarded plastic, residual liquid, electronics and lithium batteries to clutter our streets. It’s not just an eyesore, it’s a serious hazard waiting to strike. Recently it almost caused a disaster for our unsung heroes – the NHS Blood Bikers.
A dedicated, unpaid, volunteer Blood Biker was making a rapid delivery of emergency blood to a hospital. Every moment counts, then a carelessly discarded vape container on the road strikes the bike’s tyre. The picture shows the inside of the tyre after the device exploded, resulting in a deflated tyre and buckled wheel. That innocuous piece of waste transformed into a tyre-puncturing nightmare, delaying the delivery of the crucial blood. This isn’t just a hypothetical scenario, it happened. Our brave volunteer NHS Blood Bikers make an average of 300, out-of-hours, deliveries every month. A single incident can have a ripple effect on lives. They ride in all weathers, at all times of the night and throughout weekends. Every day of the year. They have no idea how their cargo will be used or what results from using it. They are just dedicated to getting it delivered.
What can WE do? As riders and responsible citizens, we must unite against this vaping peril. Sheffield Advanced Motorcyclists (SAM) champions the cause by encouraging fellow riders to become Blood Bikers. We lend their support to The Whiteknights Yorkshire Blood Bikers through recruitment, fundraising, and spreading the word. But they need your help.
So, let’s make a pact. Let’s safeguard our NHS Blood Bikers, who tirelessly serve our communities. If you use disposable vapes, please, do not recklessly discard them. Take them home, gather them up, and dispose of them properly at a local recycling centre or retail outlet where you purchased them. If you find them in the street, put them somewhere safe. Think about it – the blood being delivered by our dedicated volunteers might one day save your life, or that of someone you hold dear. Would you want them to be delayed due to our carelessness? I didn’t think so.
So let’s act responsibly, dispose of waste thoughtfully, and ensure that our roads remain safe for everyone. We’re a community and together we can eliminate this threat and keep our Blood Bikers on the move, delivering hope and life when it’s needed most.