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Eco Initiative To Recycle Cigarette Butts into Plastic Pallets

27 Oct 2015

Recycling is one of the most pressing issues of environmental concern in recent years. As businesses strive to ensure they adopt environmentally friendly measures, there is mounting pressure to recycle an even wider range of materials that contribute to the growing amount of global waste.

A Big Litter Offender

A survey has shown that one of the worst littering offenders is cigarette waste. Smoking-related waste makes up more than a third of litter that gets dropped, and it is the most common type of litter found at more than three-quarters of sites. As it doesn’t biodegrade naturally, cigarette waste is environmentally unfriendly and a huge burden on landfill sites.

New Uses for Cigarette Waste

The scourge of smoking litter may soon become a thing of the past, however, as a forward-thinking company is looking to recycle cigarette waste into plastic products. Butts, ash and other smoking waste will be turned into products such as plastic-based pallets, and will therefore reduce litter levels and ease the burden on landfill sites. Any leftover tobacco waste will then be composted. Aiming to recycle a product that is typically hard to recycle can have a huge impact on the environment and may pave the way for other businesses to consider recycling other hard-to-reuse materials.

The company responsible for this innovative scheme is hoping to rally around individuals, workplaces and local councils to collect their cigarette waste, including cigarette packaging, and to send it to them using free shipping labels.

Environmental Champions

By turning cigarette waste into plastic products such as plastic pallets, it brings the wider issue to the fore of how pallets made from plastic can actually be environmentally friendly. Whilst traditionally wooden pallets have been considered ‘greener’ than plastic ones, as initiatives such as the cigarette waste recycling scheme prove, pallets made from plastic are starting to earn a name as environmental champions.

With more and more plastic-based pallets being made from recycled materials, the green credentials are increasing all the time for this type of packing product. Research has also shown that they are generally more durable than wooden pallets, as they can last for 10 years or even longer. The hard-wearing nature of pallets made from plastic ensures that they get repeated use and will not need to be replaced as often as wooden pallets. This reduces the amount of landfill wastage and gives them an extended shelf life.

Since pallets made from plastic last a long time and are sturdy and tough, it is also possible for firms to buy used plastic pallets instead of new ones. By opting to buy used plastic pallets, whether they have been made from recycled materials or not, a business is engaging in recycling and making use of existing materials and products without the need to buy brand new. When you buy pallets that are used, there should be no compromise on quality, as they can be easily cleaned, do not harbour any mould or moisture and are not affected by rust, rot or broken nails and splinters, which can be a feature of wooden pallets.

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