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Cigarette Waste Recycling Option

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posted on May, 15 2019 @ 09:33 PM

I haven't made a thread in a bit but, I thought this might interest some. In the spring we do a community clean up program here. There are a lot of plastic bags and stuff but, the one thing that always bothers me is how many cigarette butts there are. They're the hardest thing to clean up and they are supposedly worse than plastic straws:

This year I went and looked online and found this UK company called TerraCycle. They're a UK based company that will take your cigarette butts and use them to make other products. Every bit of the butt is used and nothing goes to the land fill is what they state.

This is what you have to do:

COLLECT: Continue to use your regular ashtray. Empty your ashtray into a bag or box when full – making sure that all the waste is safely extinguished. And don’t forget to spread the word to friends, family and colleagues too!

PACK: Put all the cigarette waste that you have collected in a plastic bag, making sure it is properly sealed. Box up the bag and download your free shipping label through your profile on

SHIP: Attach your free shipping label to the box and order a pick-up via UPS by calling 03457 877 877 or book a collection online here, and UPS will collect at your location. It really is that easy!

That is the UK process. They also collect them from the US.

This is what they do with them:

Collecting and sorting: Cigarette filters are sent to TerraCycle’s local warehouses in liner bags. TerraCycle will check-in and handle the collected containers.

Separating components: Any remaining tobacco or paper will be recycled as compost – nothing will go to landfill. Organics (ash, tobacco, paper) are separated from plastic components (filters) using specific screens.

Washing: Filters are bagged up and transported to a wash plant where they will be removed from any kind of contamination.

Transformation into new products : The filters are then shredded and mixed with other recycled materials. They can be used as a compound to make sheet boards or be densified and extruded into pellets. This plastic can then be used for injection moulding or extrusion.

These are the parts of cigarettes they use:

And a video of the process:

I just thought maybe some of you would like to look into it a bit more. I've signed up for the cigarette waste recycling program and I'm currently on a waiting list. They also have plastic bottle and various other recycling programs available to participate in.

Other recycling programs...

Thanks for taking a look!

posted on May, 15 2019 @ 09:59 PM
Naples Florida made a similar broadcast back in the 80s or 90s ?

Now I tear the paper/fire off the cigarette butt then but in my back pocket till I get close to a trashcan .

posted on May, 15 2019 @ 11:14 PM
a reply to: blend57

Ya we have been recycling butts at my work for the past 3 years.
And the proceeds from the butts go to charity.
I think we have raised just over $12,000.00 now.

posted on May, 16 2019 @ 03:56 AM

originally posted by: Fallingdown
Naples Florida made a similar broadcast back in the 80s or 90s ?

Now I tear the paper/fire off the cigarette butt then but in my back pocket till I get close to a trashcan .

be careful doing that. we got nailed with a couple hundred dollar "deep cleaning fee", in a motel. because i also put my butts in my back pocket to deal with later. because they could "smell cigarette butts", it meant we were smoking in the room. and it pisses my sister off to no end that i don't throw my butts on the ground when done, because of the "smell". even to throw them i n the garbage can outside with her they have to be sealed up in a plastic bag, and she still complains about the smell in her garbage can.

wish they did that here. i have a few bags of butts hanging around (a few years worth). since i have been waiting for such a program to start.

posted on May, 16 2019 @ 04:09 AM
I know its OTC but isn't it a drug product anyway like alcohol?

anyways sounds like a bit of carbon-footprint packaging and shipping just to recycle em

posted on May, 17 2019 @ 05:25 PM
They obviously make a decent profit to be in business, pay their employees, bills, and run all equipment.

It's for a good cause but how many people that smoke are going to conciously go through the trouble of collecting up their butts and mailing it? Not many. The major mark is missed and this company gets by with a tiny percentage of cigarette butts getting mailed in, yet is profitable enough to stay in business.

Offer a pittance by weight of butts and see how the amount of butts that get sent in jumps off the charts. In the meantime, this is cool and novel but will do little to nothing in the scheme of things.

If they gave me $1 per pound of butts I'd do it religiously. As it stands, why bother? Save the planet? I'm a smoker, give me a break. I need to save myself and the ozone layer too right? Do you see anyone using that as a reason to quit? Then why would they spend their time and effort doing this? The realist as always.

posted on May, 17 2019 @ 10:35 PM
a reply to: r0xor

I'm not sure how many people will save and mail their cigarette waste. All I know is that I will and I'll also have my business do it too. So, there's a few thousand butts that won't be randomly thrown on the ground or deposited in a land fill.

As for payment, well, not everything is about money. I don't always have to make a buck in order to be motivated to do something. Maybe that's not the way I should be, but it's the way I am...

To each their own I guess. I'm not telling anyone they have to do this. I'm just presenting the information so those that wish to, can.

Thanks to everyone for the responses and for taking the time to check this out. Hopefully I'll be able to participate in this soon and once I get started I'll update the thread. I don't know how long I'll be waiting on the "waiting list" though...


posted on May, 21 2019 @ 09:24 AM
Well this is a great news. I always thought there was no way to recycle cigarette waste.

I'm not sure how many people will save and mail their cigarette waste.

I questioned myself the same, and the answer for me is to force the smokers to pay a deposit. If you pay 5€ more for a cigarette pack, but you get this money back when you return it. Well, then I don't think you waste your money throwing them to the beach. And even if you do it, there are people who collects them to get their money paid.

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