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Environment / Motorcyclist warns of single-use vapes on roads after suffering burst tyre

Rhanna McKay: 'Luckily the tyre didn't explode or fail immediately, I managed to pull in safely.' Photo: Dave Donaldson

A LOCAL motorcyclist had a shock on Saturday when a disposable vape which had been littered on the road burst her back tyre.

Rhanna McKay from Sandwick was out for a run with friends over the weekend when the incident happened.

She is now keen to raise awareness of the issue.

“I was out for a run with five other lasses and we were heading on up to Eshaness,” McKay told Shetland News.

“I was just north of the north Sullom junction when I thought I saw something go under my tyre, then I heard a bang.

“I thought it might have been a big stone or some debris.”

It turned out to be an Elf Bar single-use vape, which had pierced itself into the tyre.

The damage the vape caused to McKay’s tyre. Photo: Carolyn McKay

McKay continued: “I kept on driving for a peerie bit and noticed that the back tyre was going flat, pulled over into a passing place and then as soon as I did that the tyre was completely flat.

“There was a big hole all the way through…it was completely deflated.”

She said it will cost her at least £200 to replace the tyre.

Despite this, McKay said she was “really lucky”.

“It didn’t go in through the side wall, it was kind of almost in the middle.

“Luckily the tyre didn’t explode or fail immediately, I managed to pull in safely.”

However, McKay is not the only motorist in the isles to have been affected.

Aith Garage told Shetland News: “We had a customer with a round hole in their tyre, when removing the tyre from the rim we found a vape inside the tyre.”

Jim’s Garage in Lerwick have also noted the same problem, seeing at least six tyres damaged in this way since last December.

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Shetland Islands Council recently called for a ban on vapes like the one that pierced McKay’s tyre.

Councillors show support for ban on single-use vapes

This was on the grounds of environmental and health concerns, with a particular concern on their use by children.

It comes after members of a local eco youth group wrote to all councillors asking them if they would consider joining other Scottish local authorities in calling for a ban.

Youth worker Laura Hughes had previously spoken out about the number of vapes she picked up on walks around Scalloway.

McKay herself described vape litter as a “real problem” around Shetland, having noticed it out walking and through feedback from folk over the weekend.

“It’s needless littering that can actually be quite dangerous,” she added.

McKay, however, said she understands vaping can be an alternative for those quitting smoking.

“In the right situation it can be a helpful tool,” she said.

“Certainly, with the amount of bairns that have been noted to be using vapes and the amount of litter that’s coming from it, there needs to be some sort of controlling it.

“I just can’t believe folk are throwing things like that out the window…it’s quite scary.”

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