Throughout the US cigarette butts account for nearly thirty-eight percent of litter annually according to a study put out by Keep America Beautiful. Sadly, fifty percent of cigarette butt litter is found just laying on the ground. Only fourteen percent of all cigarette butt litter is near a cigarette receptacle or ashtray. Now you may be wondering why does this matter to you. Chances are you or someone you know smokes cigarettes now or in the past.
You may be wondering what happens with these cigarette butts if they are properly recycled. A great company, Terracycle, has their Cigarette Waste Bridgade program. They take the leftover ashes from cigarette butts and recycle them into ashtrays and pallets. For every pound of cigarette butts that Terracycle receives, they will donate $1 to Keep America Beautiful to aid in cigarette litter prevention.
Terracycle does this by placing recycling receptacles around the areas where litter is common. In Vancouver B.C., Terracycle deployed their recycling receptacles and decreased cigarette butt litter in Vancouver by nearly ninety percent. If Terracycle continues to grow in size, we may see an end to most if not all litter from cigarette butts.
Recently, Portland State University issued a ban on all tobacco products on campus for the 2015-2016 school year. This was in part due to the hazards of secondhand smoke and students with asthma. Hopefully, with this change the cigarette butt litter will decrease across the campus.
If you or a friend smokes and wants to recycle your cigarette butts, Terracycle has an excellent service to do so. So please, recycle your cigarette butts and still think about the environment as you puff away.