Joseph Hart 15 July 2023


Nicotine pouches help you keep toxins out of your lungs. But you need to dispose of them responsibly if you want to keep the earth just as clean.

Find out how with our simple guide to recycling nicotine pouches.

An open can of nicotine pouches

What materials are nicotine pouches made from?

When it comes to recycling and sustainability of nicotine pouches, there are two separate factors we need to consider. Namely, the packaging and nicotine pouches. 

Packaging: The exact packaging depends on the manufacturer. Many use safe and recyclable materials, like Polypropylene.

Pouches: The material that houses the portions themselves is typically made from cellulose fibres. It’s a natural material used for tea bags that is found in plants and tree bark. The pouches, of course, also contain nicotine powder.

How to dispose of nicotine pouches?

Nicotine pouches and their containers should be disposed of separately. Here is what you can do.


You should place nicotine pouch boxes in the recycling bin. Depending on your location, that could mean using a local recycling centre, depot, drop-off, or your council recycling bin. 

In some instances, you should remove the label so it’s easy to recycle. That largely depends on what the packaging sticker is made of. It’s best to consult the site or box for your desired brand and follow their advice: some need to be removed, and others are ready to go straight in the recycling bin. 

Basically, you should treat nicotine pouches like any other recyclable plastic. However, remember to remove any pouches from the box beforehand.


Some people throw their used pouches down the toilet or on the street. Don’t be one of those people. It’s best to keep nicotine out of the water supply and keep our high streets as clean as possible. So empty them into your general waste bin. 

Most nicotine pouch boxes come with a click-open compartment to store used pouches. This compartment is very handy if you’re out and about or travelling. Once it’s full, or you just want to empty it, you can put it into your standard bin. However, there are a few things to think about.

While you might be finished with the patch, it may still contain some nicotine. If you’ve got pets or children, it’s possible they could open your bin bag and ingest your discarded pouches. So to be on the safe side, it’s worth wrapping your used pouches in tissue before they go in the bin. Concealing your used patches in a tissue is also good for hygiene purposes.

The future of nicotine pouch recycling

At present, nicotine pouches are not biodegradable. However, big brands like Velo have promised progress in the future. They say they are working on “new product developments” in their sustainability commitment statement. These advances include research to make the pouches and packaging more sustainable and kinder to the environment.

Are nicotine pouches more sustainable than cigarettes or e-cigarettes?

Cigarette butts are not biodegradable. The butts are made of plasticised cellulose acetate, which can take over a decade to break apart. Even worse, toxins can seep into the earth during that time. In that regard, nicotine pouches are a more sustainable choice.

E-cigarettes, especially the disposable variety, are a considerable environmental problem. They contain plastics, batteries, and e-liquid remnants. More than 1 million are thrown away each day in the UK. Again, pouches are a far superior option. 

So as well as being discrete, considerate, and better for your health, nicotine pouches are a much more sustainable option for the environment— as long as you follow the proper recycling practices outlined above.


Nicotine pouches are a sustainable smoke-free option. However, as an emerging product, early adopters are responsible for representing the practice in a positive manner. These responsibilities include not littering the street with discarded pouches and ensuring pouches and containers are disposed of properly.