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Small Cigarette Ends, No. 1 Plastic Garbage
Jan 16, 2019

As UNEP report, cigarette ends have been the No. 1 quantity plastic garbage in the world, next are drink bottle, cap, food packing, etc.

What is the connection with cigarette and plastic?

Cigarette ends as filter are made from cellulose diacetate.

Cellulose diacetate have wide usage, including film materials, textile, tools handle, spectacle frame and plastic plate, tube, stick, etc.

Cellulose diaccetate has selective absorbing capacity, it can effectively hold back the tar and other harmful particles from smoke and not change the taste of cigarette. Compared with other filter media, it provides the best balance between taste and price. Therefor, all over the world choose cellulose diaccetate as the filter of cigarette.

People throw away cigarette ends at random after smoking. The butts are small and dirty, hard to collect.

Only about two thirds of total 5,600 billion cigarette ends have been collected since 1986.

How to solve the cigarette ends pollution?

Although some tobacco companies and new companies are trying to find substitute of cigarette ends, still no suitable projects.

In US, TerraCycle promote the first city scale cigarette ends recycling plan with New Orleans. After one year’s operation, the cigarette ends decrease 13%. It is understood this city has recycled more than 500 thousand butts.

From technical view, it’s not so hard to collect and reprocess butts, the cigarette ends can be dissolved or melted, then filature or pelletize. It can remake to cigarette ends after filaturing, and can also remake to plastic pallet after pelletizing.

It is not worth to recycle butts in the view of economic. The recycling of butts is like  disposable plastic bag, and the butts can only be used one time. The smokers won’t use second time for the cigarette ends.