A new scheme was launched this week which aims to clean up 35% of our litter, whilst simultaneously diverting it from landfill.

The litter in question is Cigarettes and their assorted materials. It’s been known for a long time that cigarettes are harmful to our health, but what about the environment? Smokers’ materials account for 35.2% of the total litter dropped in our streets, parks, roads and public places in the UK.

The Cigarette Waste Brigade®, formed in partnership between TerraCycle and Japan Tobacco International (JTI) will aim to better recycle cigarette related products and by-products. These include: butts, cigar butts, ash, used and unused cigarette filters, rolling papers, inner foil packaging and the plastic outer packaging. The products will then be recycling into plastic pellets, which can be used for items such as delivery pallets. Items like leftover tobacco or rolling papers will be composted.

Recycling has always been an efficient way of killing two birds with one stone – ironically whilst saving the habitat of said wildlife. It cleans up our rubbish, and diverts said rubbish from going to landfill where it will do one of two things. Sit there forever and ever until we think of a better way of handling our waste, or… the lesser of two evils, decompose and release potentially harmful gases. Since cigarette butts are non-biodegradable and don’t break down quickly, they are a landfills worst enemy.


How will the scheme work?

The Cigarette Waste Brigade® (We’ll call it CWB from here) will work on a community basis. Cigarette material remains will be sent to TerraCycle’s warehouse by participants and volunteers. Interested in getting involved? Any group, workplace, council or individual 18+ can join the CWB® to volunteer to collect Cigarette waste materials and send them to TerraCycle.

Recycling niche items isn’t anything new to TerraCycle. After launching in the UK in September, 2009, they have set up various programmes to encourage recycling. Spanning from biscuit wrappers, writing utensils, coffee packaging and air fresheners.


Why is this important?

The UK-wide push for recycling is encouraging. The more people on board with recycling ventures, the better. This scheme is good for more reasons than simply tidying up our streets and recycling a little more more, however. It’s an encouraging model for how we should be thinking about the future of our waste.

Exciting, creative and engaging schemes that pave the way for an economy that puts re-use above reckless wastage and teaches people the importance of waste conservation.

We recently launched a campaign that encourages business to be more green in their daily activities to help create a more sustainable world. You can read more about Green365 here!

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