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Australia’s cigarette butts destined for recycling

Australia – Australia has become the eighth country to join an international cigarette butt recycling programme. The used butts are directed into the production of several plastic products including shipping pallets, railway sleepers and ashtrays.

Using technology developed in the USA, the butts are pulled apart in order to separate ash, tobacco and paper from the filter.

The organic materials go through an industrial composting process to become fertiliser for use on non-agricultural land such as golf courses. The filter is melted and mixed with other plastics, and can be used to produce a range of industrial products.

According to US waste collection organisation TerraCycle, which manages the programme, it takes 2000 cigarettes to make 1 kg of plastic. TerraCycle adds that cigarette butts are ′the second most littered item in Australia′.


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