TerraCycle, a small upcycling company based in New Jersey, has launched its new program, Cigarette Waste Brigade, which aims to collect various wastes from cigarettes and tobaccos – cigarette butts, rolling papers, loose tobacco pouches, plastic wrapper, foil, and ashes.
Cigarette butts are one of the wastes that are most of the time disposed of improperly. In fact, about 65% of cigarettes are littered by smokers and cigarette is the number one waste recovered from oceans with a total of 52 million cigarette filters in 25 years.
TerraCycle, known for collecting and processing hard-to-recycle wastes to produce various consumer products, has added another item to their list. In their Cigarette Waste Brigade program, they allow cigarette smokers (strictly 19 years old and above), bar and restaurant owners, building managers, and litter clean-up groups to participate by having their cigarette wastes collected and get paid in return in terms of charitable gifts or cash.
The cigarette wastes are then made into industrial plastic pallets and compost material.
The program is sponsored by Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, the manufacturer of Natural American Spirit brand cigarettes. This may actually sound inappropriate as they are the very producers of these goods that are neither beneficial to the people and the environment. Nevertheless, while the tobacco industry exists, their monetary efforts may also count in helping our environment.