Cigarette Butt Recycling 🚬: At Waster, we always encourage customers to start their waste management and recycling journey by doing the easy stuff first, such as cardboard and commingled recycling. However, many clients ask us about trickier niche recycling areas like cigarette butt recycling. Is it available in Australia? Or better yet, can you even recycle cigarette filters?

Whilst cigarette butt waste is very small by volume – it is something that many people want to recycle – i.e. especially if they are seeking to achieve zero waste – or close to zero waste going to landfill.

Waster has partnered with Terracycle in Australia to provide a cigarette butt recycling program to our small and medium customers.

>Download Now:Β Free PDF Business Owners Guide To Commingled Recycling Bin Services

In the blog below, we will cover how the cigarette waste collector system works and what you can do with your cigarette waste bins. Additionally, we will provide information on cigarette waste’s harmful effects on the environment.


A little bit about Waster and our recycling programs

Waster is an Australian waste management business that provides low-cost waste and recycling bin services to small and medium Aussie companies.

We make recycling maximisation easy for your business. We provide all business recycling collections such as cardboard, commingled etc and more unusual ones such as soft plastic collections etc.

This means that even the smallest business can use all recycling services that are normally only available to major corporates. Therefore, you do not need to shop around!

Waster will provide all these services on our flexible 30-day agreements. So, you do not need to sign a long-term contract.

We will also help you boost recycling. As we do not own landfills, we are not financially incentivised to simply continue with general waste bin hire.

Click on the blue bars at the top or bottom of this page to access our waste portal and see pricing and service options (including cigarette butt recycling etc).

Cigarette butt recycling cigarette filter recycling waste


Cigarette butt recycling using Terracycle boxes

Waster has partnered with Terracycle to distribute its Zero Waste boxes for cigarette butt recycling. Check out the Zero Waste Box for cigarette waste on our page.

cigarette zwb


According to TerraCycle:

“TerraCycle has created a zero waste solution for cigarette waste. Use this box to recycle Cigarette filters, all parts of extinguished cigarettes, cigar stubs, outer plastic packaging, inner foil packaging, rolling paper, and ash.”


Cigarette butt waste’s effect on the environment

Naturally, throwing cigarette butt waste or anything similar instead of recycling it has an adverse effect on the environment. Indeed, not only is it dangerous to one’s health, but it is also dangerous to the oceans, beaches, streets, and more.

It can pollute soil, bodies of water, and even the air around us. In other words, it greatly contributes to land, water, and air pollution.

Moreover, the filters from cigarettes take quite a long time to break down. The filters are made from cellulose acetate, a type of plastic made from paper and rayon. They can only biodegrade under harsh conditions.

Assume that without human intervention, cigarette filters will never biodegrade. Although the sun and/or water may help, the filters only turn into smaller pieces scattered on soil or water.


How does the box system work for cigarette butt waste?

The process is quite simple. Here, we present to you the steps you should take to recycle your cigarette butt waste:

  1. First, pick the box size you want to purchase – either small or medium for cigarette butt waste.
  2. Β Only put the appropriate type of waste here. Only recycle cigarette filters, all parts of extinguished cigarettes, cigar stubs, outer plastic packaging, inner foil packaging, rolling paper, and ash.
  3. Finally, after you fill it up with the appropriate items, you can then ship the box to TerraCycle. Use the pre-paid shipping label affixed to the TerraCycle box. Rest assured that your sent items are recycled properly and safely.

Obviously, you should make sure to extinguish the cigarette butt waste before placing it in the box for recycling.


What can be included in the cigarette butt waste Zero Waste Box?

As stated above, you can include all parts of cigarette butt waste such as the cigarette filter waste:

“Cigarette filters, all parts of extinguished cigarettes, cigar stubs, outer plastic packaging, inner foil packaging, rolling paper, and ash.” You should not include the cigarette box.


Cigarette filter recycling


How are the collected cigarette waste contents recycled?

TerraCycle cigarette butt waste recycling occurs in an easy-to-understand process. With this in mind, please see the short text info and video below for more detail:

“The collected waste is mechanically and/or manually separated into the various forms of plastic that make it up. The separated plastics then undergo extrusion and pelletization to be moulded into new recycled plastic products.”

YouTube video


What you should not include in cigarette butt waste recycling

Remember not to include cardboard cigarette packaging.

Additionally, we will not accept household hazardous waste such as lithium-ion batteries, pressurized canisters, pesticides, paint or medical sharps nor any item that came into contact with anything classified as flammable, reactive, corrosive, ignitable, radioactive, toxic, infectious, or pathogenic.


Conclusion on cigarette butt recycling

It is certainly interesting as a process. And I have to admit, I did not even know that there was so much plastic in cigarette waste. It just goes to show that plastic waste is almost everywhere in modern products!

We emphasise the need for cigarette butt waste recycling. Without it, the environment will truly suffer. As a result, we present Australian businesses with a strong option: TerraCycle.


commingled recycling cta