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Case Studies and Resources

Recycling Cigarette Butts

Recycling Cigarette ButtsWe see them everywhere, cigarette butts littering the ground.  Most people don’t even think about what those filters are made out of, so here we go.  Most filters are made out of acetate cellulose, which is a plastic.  As we all know by now, plastic doesn’t biodegrade or break down for hundreds of years, and even the broken down plastic, just turns into microplastic.  So, up until recently, there has been no “cure” for cigarette butts.

A company in New Jersey sought to correct that oversight and is now recycling cigarette waste.  They accept extinguished cigarettes, cigarette filters, loose tobacco pouches, outer plastic packaging, inner foil packaging, rolling paper, and ash.  The only part of the cigarette packaging they don’t accept is the paperboard box, but that can be recycled through your regular recycling.  For every pound of cigarette waste they collect $1.00 is donated towards the Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Program.

The waste they collect from cigarettes and packaging is separated and melted down to create things like plastic pallets.  Let’s think a moment, about where we see the most cigarette waste:

  1. Restaurants
  2. Convenience Stores
  3. Retail Establishments
  4. Beaches
  5. Parks

It wouldn’t take much to replace the typical cigarette containers with these recycling containers.  From there, emptying them isn’t that hard.  Just dump the waste into a plastic bag, pop the bag into a used box and request shipping.  Not only are you helping clean up your own area, but you are helping to remove potentially toxic waste from the environment.  Need information on getting cigarette butt recycling started for your business?  Contact us at Waste Cost Solutions.

Topics: recycling recycle zero waste plastic waste waste cleanup