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Cigarette butts recycling

At ÉcoMégot, the recovery and recycling of cigarette butts are an integral part of our overall solution . We believe that recycling without raising awareness is irrelevant. Since 2016, we have been collecting cigarette butts from communities, businesses, schools and events. All these butts must be recovered and recycled.

The cigarette butt recycling process
Cigarette butts recycling

Recycle cigarette butts

No less than 137,000 cigarette butts are thrown on the ground every second in the world. In France, it is estimated

Recycling to raise awareness

In June 2020, we filed a patent allowing cigarette butts to be recycled without using water or solvents . The process consists of creating a new recycled and recyclable plastic material.

Decontamination is ensured by successive heating (at nearly 200°) of the material which destroys the most toxic components (nicotine, phenol, pesticide). We have also launched other R&D projects to experiment with other more efficient ways to remove odors in particular (such as supercritical CO2).
The recyclable filter represents 44% of the cigarette butt by weight. This means that with 1 kg of cigarette butts collected, 440 g of new material are produced thanks to the recycling of cigarette butts .

Today, the most important thing for us is to encourage changes in behavior so that throwing cigarette butts on the ground is no longer a trivial gesture . The main pillar of ÉcoMégot is therefore public awareness .

However, in most people’s minds, recycling is the ultimate part of a waste disposal solution. We didn’t want to create new waste out of waste. We have therefore decided to recycle cigarette butts into awareness panels made available to communities or businesses. These panels are made from the new material.

They convey messages of prevention in the face of pollution, the preservation of biodiversity and the environment, and a zero waste approach. These signs are returnable and therefore encourage their conservation and sustainability .

Our awareness panels made using the recycling of cigarette butts
Awareness panels

Recover cigarette butts

Many batches of cigarette butts are not recyclable because they can be wet, moldy, soiled, mixed with other waste and this deteriorates the quality. So we have another solution to give cigarette butts a second life. This is energy recovery in CSS.

CSS stands for Solid Fuel Substitution. It is a material that replaces an industrial “fuel”. Cement plants burn CSS instead of burning coal or oil and this creates enough heat to melt the cement! This saves virgin petroleum resources.

Cigarette butts do not emit any pollution because they are burned at an excessive temperature.

Biodegradable filters to replace the recycling of cigarette butts?

In our opinion, biodegradable filters do not eliminate environmental pollution, on the contrary, they encourage it .

The 2,500 pollutants (including nicotine, a powerful pesticide) will spread through the soil and pollute the waters. The only advantage is that the polluting object will disappear, thus erasing the murder weapon!

It is therefore a false solution, which would even encourage the consumer to throw his cigarette butt on the ground thinking “in any case, it is biodegradable”. Moreover, the state of research on the subject is quite far from the objective because one of the main characteristics of cellulose acetate is precisely its great resistance to external elements (UV, water, minerals, etc.).

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ÉcoMégot is a French company, resulting from the social and solidarity economy, which offers an innovative, complete, local and tailor-made solution for raising awareness, creating zero butt spaces, collecting and recycling cigarette butts in all of France (Lyon, Paris, Marseille, Toulouse, Bastia, Saint-Cloud, Monaco, Bordeaux, Pau ...). 

Our mission is to promote behavioral changes among citizens, employees and festival-goers with regard to cigarette butt pollution. We believe that the recycling of cigarette ends should serve the common awareness and thus create a virtuous circle carrying meaning.

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