Recycle Cigarette Butts

Posted on May 3, 2013 in Green Tip

Today’s tip may come as a surprise to many of you, but this is no joke. Terracycle, a company devoted to eliminating waste, has found a way to recycle cigarette butts through a partnership with Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company. You can sign up for the collection brigade if you are over 21, and Terracycle will accept every part of a cigarette except for the cardboard box it comes in. The material is then recycled into a variety of industrial products such as plastic pallets, and remaining tobacco is carefully composted.

Cigarette butts are the most littered item in America. Contrary to popular belief, they are not “natural” and do not break down organically. If every smoker used a pocket ashtray, and either recycled or properly discarded their cigarette butts, 38% of roadway litter would be eliminated in the U.S. 38%!

TerraCycle hopes to collect and recycle hundreds of millions of cigarette butts through the Cigarette Waste Brigade, and the recycling process will make a significant impact when it comes to reducing waste and litter. Creating pallets and other products out of cigarette waste instead of virgin plastic reduces both the amount of waste in landfills and the quantity of virgin materials needed to make new products.

To get involved and start collecting cigarette waste, visit You can also find out if any anti-litter groups in your area are already collecting cigarette butts and team up with them.