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TerraCycle asks smokers to think green

United States – The Canadian arm of TerraCycle, which specialises in processing difficult-to-recycle consumer packaging, is inviting smokers to send in their cigarette butts for conversion into pallets.

Under a new initiative called ‘€˜The Cigarette Waste Brigade’€™, the company is asking consumers to send everything from filters, stubs, and rolling paper to the outer plastic packaging to its recycling facility. TerraCycle says it can handle ‘€˜everything but the cardboard box itself’€™.

TerraCycle’€™s founder, Tom Szaky, is aware the idea may sound surreal, but said it was true to the company’€™s principles. ‘€˜As a company committed to recycling waste streams that others deem worthless or unsavoury, cigarette waste will help to promote our belief that everything can and should be recycled,’€™ he said. He added that contracts have already been signed with leading tobacco companies in the USA and Canada.

Cigarette consumption is estimated at one trillion per year. Mr Szaky reasons: ‘€˜Regardless of what we think of tobacco, we can all agree that the litter caused by cigarette butts is a major issue.’

The scheme takes care of shipping costs via a special label that can be downloaded from the TerraCycle website. But there is another incentive to join in: ‘€˜We’€™re also going to offer a US$ 1 donation to your favourite charity for every thousand butts collected,’€™ added Mr Szaky.

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