- 40 million disposable propane tanks are used each year, with a large portion of them piling up in landfills from irresponsible dumping
- Disposable propane tanks are hazardous to the environment and an economic burden to your wallets.
- Refillable propane tanks are the only solution to reducing unnecessary waste of propane tanks.
Life just wouldn't be the same without clean-burning propane by your side. This versatile gas has plenty of uses inside and outside the home from heating your water to grilling your steaks to fueling your camper. But for every positive comes a negative; and, the negative for propane is less about the thing itself and more about how we use it — or, more accurately, store it. Here, we break down the difference between disposable and refillable propane cylinders and why refillables are the future of a cleaner environment.
How Disposable Propane Tanks Are Wasteful
Although disposable propane cylinders cost less than refillable propane cylinders, that's only the initial cost. Unless you're only planning to use propane once in your life and never again, the cost over time will still work out to be less if you go with refillable initially. Even the math works out when you consider a gallon of propane costs around $1.45 to purchase. If a single gallon weighs in at about 4.2 lbs, that means a refillable Flame King tank would only cost $0.34 to refill. When you factor in that each 1 lb disposable tank costs you about $4 each, that means you're saving by just the third or fourth refill on a refillable tank. That's to say nothing about the environmental impact of disposable tanks. A disposable propane cylinder is, by its nature, meant to be dumped. However, when you throw away a disposable tank, it's just going to sit in a landfill for years to come given that metals generally do not biodegrade like other garbage. And with around 40 million disposable propane tanks being used each year, the number of disposable propane tanks piling up in landfills just gets larger and larger. But the question still remains: if disposable tanks cost less, why not just refill them? Well, it's not that simple. For one thing, it's against the law to have a service station refill your disposable tank. A propane tank refill can only be performed on a Department of Transportation approved refillable tank. This is because the small disposable tanks simply aren't made to withstand the refilling process. Unlike refillable propane tanks, these tanks are much thinner and have valves that aren't equipped for the refilling process. Another economic burden for disposable tank users is the cost of proper disposal. In order to properly dispose of a propane tank, you'll have to take your tanks to a hazardous waste collection facility. This will involve contacting your local government offices to find it most likely and may involve fees for disposal. Additionally, you'll need to have a professional depressurize the tank and remove any remaining gas before removing the valve to get the tank ready for disposal ahead of time, all things that likely cost money depending on where you are.
Switching to Refillables
Disposable propane cylinders aren't as good of an investment as they might first seem. Not only do they typically hold less than the traditional propane tank that can be refilled, but they are also a hazard to the environment and a hassle to properly throw away. Refillable is the way to go. As opposed to disposables, our 1 lb refillable propane cylinders have sturdy walls, a valve specifically made for refilling, and the ability to take it to a service station. They're also the only DOT-certified 1 lb refillable cylinder on the market and can be refilled from the comfort of your backyard with the dedicated Flame King refill kit. It makes this the perfect propane tank for most of your outdoor accessories, like camping stoves, portable heaters, and patio heaters. To raise awareness of the issues surrounding disposable propane tanks, Flame King has partnered with ReFuel Your Fun. Through this partnership, Flame King’s 1 lb refillable propane tanks are available in retailers all across the country.