First Cigarette Waste Recycling Company Launching in South Africa
Cigarette butts are, by some counts, the world’s number one litter problem. Every year, billions of cigarette butts end up in dumpsters and landfills, or get tossed as litter on shorelines, parks, and sidewalks across South Africa. Cigarette filters are made from wood-based plastic fibers that take generations to fully decompose. And the filters can leach nicotine and tar into the ground or water. Butts are also often eaten by birds, fish, and other animals, who can choke on them or be hurt from the poisons they contain. Cigarette butts are everywhere – clogging up our streets, littering our beaches – and for decades they’ve been thought of as ‘unrecyclable’, because they contain such a tightly packed mix of organic and inorganic products that recycling companies can’t deal with them.
Solution to the Problem.
A number of companies have taken on the challenge, and come up with ways to recycle millions of cigarette butts. The collected cigarette waste is shredded and separated. The plastic (such as the cigarette filters) undergo palletization and extrusion to be molded into various industrial products, such as shipping pallets, railway sleepers, bricks, ashtrays and any remaining tobacco is recycled as compost.
One of such Companies that have taken on the challenge is Verda Waste (PTY) Ltd, a South African based Company. Not only is this good news for South Africa to get rid of this unwanted waste, but also a boost for local entrepreneurs who will be recruited and trained to collect cigarette waste and sell to the company.