New technology / product development and value creation


The smoking ban has led to a huge increase in cigarette butts piling up on streets. It causes butts concentration in areas where a smoker must stay or extinguish a cigarette before proceeding. Bigger concentration areas, equals better availability and easier collection. And a huge volume of potential recycled raw material.

Innovation opportunities

• Cellulose fibers
• Chemical residuis
• Tobacco remains
• Filter wrapping paper

Cigarette butt litter recycling initiatives

• Students in Brazil recycle cigarette litter into paper
• Brazilian designer also uses recycled cigarette butt fibers and spins them with sheep wool into clothing
• In Ohio an inventor has a patent pending to turn cigarette butts into adhesives and sealants
• Chemical extracts from cigarette butts can be used to protect steel pipes from rusting, a study in China has found
• Blake Burich has patented a way to recycle cigarette filters into car parts and products made out of recycled plastics
• The Canadian multinational TerraCycle has developed a methodology recycling cigarette butts into plastic material
• TerraCycle did a pilot program with British American Tobacco in Spain
• TerraCycle and The City of Vancouver will launch the world's first cigarette-butt recycling program