Recently, TerraCycle embarked on a partnership with Vancouver and New Orleans, making them the first cities in the world to start a city-wide cigarette recycling program. We’re extremely excited about it, but recycling cigarettes isn’t anything new to us. We’ve been doing it since 2012! And, even if you don’t live in either of these cities, you can still be a part of this recycling revolution.
Back in late 2012, our CEO, Tom Szaky, wrote a blog post for the New York Times about the collection program. There’s always debate within the company about who TerraCycle should partner with, and working with the tobacco industry could have been a risky move. But, as Tom points out, there’s no perfect product. The food, clothing, and cosmetic industry has all come under fire at one point or another, and yet we still work with them to help make their products greener. So why not cigarettes?
In the U.S., TerraCycle works with Santa Fe Natural Tobacco to collect cigarette butts. Each time a Brigade members sends in a pound of cigarette waste, we donate $1 to Keep America Beautiful. We then shred and separate the waste, composting the organic materials and turning the inorganic ones into plastic products!