Despite being a small piece of litter, cigarette butts are the largest contributor to litter out of all plastic products found along Canada’s shorelines.
What would it be like to walk the streets of Metro Vancouver without seeing cigarette butts strewn all over our parks and streets?
It is my goal to find out.
I have been working on a community stewardship project for the past couple months that involves educating and engaging smokers on the topic of cigarette butt recycling.
Thus far in the project, the response has been extremely positive. People want to be able to recycle their waste properly but did not have a way of doing it, so in turn, I provided the means to do so. I have been handing out pocket ashtrays and butt buckets to different people I connect with in the Lower Mainland of BC.
Terracycle Canada has a recycling program that allows you to send in cigarette butt waste and donate money towards a chosen charity. They re-use the plastic in filters to make industrial plastic products, ensuring that the waste doesn’t end up in our environment.
In Coquitlam, I have been taking on the role of a collection leader. When people have collected all they can, I will come pick it up for them and store it until I have enough to ship off to the recycling plant in Ontario. The following picture shows what waste can be sent in to Terracycle:
If you have cigarette butt waste that needs recycling, or are interested in an astray or bucket please email me at meganrempel@Terracycle’s Cigarette Waste Brigadeand I would be happy to supply you with these products by donation. You can sign up for the recycling program yourself at this link:
Project updates will continue to come, the next step is developing a research report to share with my community members.
Thanks for your support everyone!