TerraCycle has joined forces with EZ Products CLS for “The Butt Stops Here” initiative. Through the initiative, golf carts at Rolling Hills, a Tempe-owned golf course in Arizona, have been outfitted with cup ash trays, and collected cigarette waste will be recycled into new products through TerraCycle.
As the world’s most littered item, billions of cigarette butts get tossed on shorelines, park grounds and sidewalks across the United States every year. If not addressed, cigarette waste persists for several years and poses a serious environmental threat as toxic chemicals leach into soil and bodies of water become contaminated with substances hazardous to marine life.
To prevent cigarette litter pollution, The Butt Stops Here program equipped seven golf carts at Rolling Hills with custom-made cigarette receptacles through a grant provided by Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and with assistance from Keep Phoenix Beautiful, a KAB affiliate. After being shipped to TerraCycle, the waste collected through the program is processed into plastic pellets for use in a variety of recycled products, and the remaining tobacco is composted.
“Since implementing the program at Rolling Hills, we’ve shipped approximately 20,250 cigarette butts to TerraCycle—effectively removing them from the environment,” said Michael Sickles, EZ Products CLS founder and CEO, in a statement. “This is only a drop in the bucket when an estimated 4.5 trillion cigarette butts still contaminate the environment each year, but it’s a start, and there is power in numbers.”
“It’s our time. Let’s take the first step together,” added Sickles. “We are inviting all general managers, golf course owners, golf professionals and concerned citizens to utilize our program, joining us in our journey of making a difference in reducing and ultimately eliminating cigarette litter from the environment.”
TerraCycle has collected hundreds of millions of cigarette butts globally. Additionally, through its various recycling programs, it has engaged more than 200 million people across 21 countries to collect and recycle nearly 8 billion pieces of waste that were otherwise non-recyclable.