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Frequently asked question

The Écomégot company

Who can use EcoMégot?

All companies, communities, associations, festivals, establishments open to the public (ERP), etc. can call on ÉcoMégot. We personalize the offers and support according to your structure and your needs.

Where does EcoMégot operate?

Everywhere in France, Monaco, Belgium and all over Europe. We work with local structures, integration projects and structures of the Social and Solidarity Economy (ESS), to support our customers as close as possible to their homes.

What is an ESUS approval?

The “Solidarity Company of Social Utility” approval is issued by the State to support the development of companies in the Social and Solidarity Economy. Having this approval certifies that we work on a daily basis, in favor of social utility as a priority, in each of the projects that we develop.

What does SSE mean?

The structures of the Social and Solidarity Economy (ESS) work to reconcile social utility, economic performance and democratic governance. Their objective is to create lasting local jobs that cannot be relocated and to support the creation of these jobs in social cohesion with a territorial anchoring to promote local economic development.

What is EPR?

The establishment of an EPR sector – an Extended Producer Responsibility sector – implies that the producers and manufacturers of tobacco products take charge of the management of the waste resulting from these products. Once consumed, the cigarette becomes a butt, which is waste. The REP sector is therefore a sector regulated by the State for the management of waste from tobacco products, mainly cigarette butts. This then implies that the producers financially support the use of awareness-raising, collection and recycling solutions for cigarette butts intended for communities.

Who is KeeNat?

Building on its experience since 2016, the ÉcoMégot solution for raising awareness, collecting and recycling cigarette ends, is taking a decisive turn in 2019. Accompanied by partner structures such as BPI or France Active, the ÉcoMégot team is growing and the association is withdrawing to make way for the company KeeNat, a company of the Social and Solidarity Economy.

Stimulated by a team of around twenty collaborators, KeeNat now has three partners: Erwin Faure, Sandrine Poilpré and Edouard Vergé. The KeeNat team is driven by a common denominator: the personal conviction of having the power to drive a positive turn, on a human scale, in the face of climate change. Driven by the ÉcoMégot project, KeeNat is already tackling other waste such as chewing gum and masks to meet the challenge of making our urban and natural spaces “zero waste spaces”.

Our raison d’être: “To innovate, act, inspire and jointly develop sustainable solutions with a social and environmental impact”.

How does the KeeNat team work for social utility?

Behind social utility lies a sincere commitment to the preservation and development of social ties. KeeNat is committed to participating in the creation of local jobs, in particular through the integration process, in order to allow people removed from employment to re-enter the professional world with the best possible support.

Since 2016, the ÉcoMégot project, then all the KeeNat activities, have created 15 direct jobs, and have participated in the creation of more than 5,000 hours in integration, directly and via a network of partners of the Trustworthy ESS, everywhere in France.

Acting for the benefit of social utility at KeeNat also means having a positive environmental impact and stimulating behavior changes by:

  • Developing solutions to preserve our environment: throwing your waste in the appropriate trash is a first step towards protecting biodiversity!
  • Sensitizing all types of public to eco-gestures to raise awareness and encourage eco-responsible behavior

Awareness of cigarette butt pollution

Where to dispose of cigarette butts?

Butts are dangerous and toxic waste, so it is essential that they do not end up in our streets, oceans, forests, beaches, etc.

It is urgent to adopt the right eco-gesture and very important to throw cigarette butts in suitable ashtrays to avoid pollution of our oceans and our cities!

The eco-citizen gesture is to throw your cigarette butt in:

  • a pocket / beach / car ashtray, easily transportable with you
  • a street ashtray, between a park and a bike station
  • a voting ashtray … so more sporty Sunday or sofa Sunday?
  • a voluntary drop-off point, to come and empty your pocket or car ashtray!

And at the end of the line, this so-called “single-flow” sorting facilitates recovery and recycling specifically dedicated to cigarette butts, with less environmental impact.

How is a cigarette butt made?

The butt consists of three main components:

  • the filter, composed of cellulose acetate, a plastic material (and no, the filter is not cotton, contrary to popular belief!)
  • the paper, which envelops the filter
  • some leftover tobacco

The cigarette butt is therefore plastic waste, which contains chemical components, in particular nicotine, which make it toxic and dangerous waste (we are talking about the dangers HP6 and HP14, for the more scientific).

Why does the cigarette butt pollute the planet?

The first pollution of the cigarette butt is visual pollution! Ubiquitous at our feet, cigarette ends are a real environmental scourge … Each cigarette butt thrown on the ground pollutes the environment because, in contact with natural environments, it diffuses:

  • plastic microparticles
  • nicotine
  • heavy metals

All these factors have harmful effects on living organisms, fauna and flora: as a reminder, 1 cigarette butt pollutes 500 liters of water!

How long does a cigarette butt last?

A cigarette butt takes, on average, 12 years to degrade in nature. Its degradation time depends on the environment in which it is left, and can therefore last several decades …

Especially since plastic never completely degrades and leaves plastic microparticles.

What are the proposed awareness actions?

We offer different awareness formats:

  • digital awareness, using awareness posters or video content
  • awareness days, with the arrival of two ambassadors ÉcoMégot on your site to lead an awareness workshop for all types of public
  • cigarette butts collection actions, in town, by the river, on the beach, etc … in conjunction with local citizen associations

Why and how can I organize an action to collect cigarette butts in my city, with my association or my company?

Changing behavior takes time. Ensuring that people no longer throw their cigarette butts on the ground is a long work of awareness and prevention.

In the meantime, many of us want to pick up the cigarette ends that are on the ground to limit their pollution.

Remember that a single cigarette butt pollutes 500 liters of water, that it contains more than 2,500 toxic substances, that it is responsible for around 16% of fires… So the stakes are high!

To organize a cigarette butt pick-up action, it is essential to be well prepared. Upstream, contact your town hall or the referents in our companies and associations for their financial support, the provision of specific collection equipment (gloves, containers for hazardous waste, etc.), the promotion of your action to have a maximum number of volunteers during your action …
For more information and support, do not hesitate to write to us on our email address sensibilisation@keenat.com

How to participate in a cigarette butt collection action?

There are many initiatives all over France, whether at the initiative of citizens or thanks to specialized associations such as the “ World Clean Up Day ”. Find out more from your town hall to find an association near you.

ÉcoMégot outdoor ashtrays

Are EcoMégot ashtrays made in France?

Yes, all our ashtrays are designed and manufactured in France. All our partners and suppliers are local French structures.

Which ashtray to choose for your city / company / event?

We offer different sizes of ashtrays:

  • The wall ashtray, the Mediterranean terminal: small capacity for sites on a human scale
  • The ashtray on foot, the Atlantique terminal: large capacity for large sites and public spaces
  • The voting ashtray, the Le Nil ashtray: to encourage eco-gestures thanks to the nudge !
  • The voluntary drop-off point: a maximum capacity alternative for emptying your pocket ashtray, car ashtray, beach ashtray, etc.

Can I be accompanied to install the ashtrays?

Our watchword: support! We provide you with the technical data sheets of all our products, an installation manual as well as the necessary material for the installation of ashtrays.

You can either install ashtrays internally (city technicians, company handling service, etc.); or else, we call on our local partners specializing in the installation of street furniture, to come and install ashtrays in your home.

Can I install ashtrays on the street?

Our ashtrays are designed to be installed on public roads. On the other hand, in certain cases, it is necessary to obtain an authorization to install them on the public highway. Do not panic, the “ request for permission or authorization of roads, parking permit, or authorization to undertake work ” can be done online. We will be at your disposal to help you complete it.

I already have ashtrays, should I buy the ones from EcoMégot?

No, the purchase of ashtrays is not compulsory to benefit from the cigarette butts collection and recycling solution.

We pay close attention to our environment. Asking to change furniture, while your ashtrays are in good used condition, would not make sense to protect our beautiful planet #antigaspi

In this case, we provide you with ÉcoMégot stickers to put on your ashtrays so that the recycling process is visible to all users. Either way, you are part of the ÉcoMégot adventure!

Where can I find cigarette butt recycling bins?

Everywhere in France and even in some European countries. On our site, you can see which cities, companies, festivals, etc. are part of the ÉcoMégot adventure.

For example, you can find ashtrays in the city center of Bordeaux, at Parc Zénith de Lyon, the National Institute of Young Deaf people in Paris, CHU de Nice, Eklo Hotel de Clermont Ferrand, Ville de Saint-Cloud, Ville de Venelles , City of Labège (Toulouse), Air France (Paris), in front of Boulanger stores, Keolis transport stations (Lyon and Bordeaux), and many others.

And follow us on our social networks, we regularly indicate who our partners are and where our ashtrays are.

Butts collection

Who collects butts?

To collect cigarette butts, two possibilities are offered, adapted to your needs:

  • the rotation of cans → we provide you with collection containers (airtight cans approved as “hazardous waste”), in which you can empty your ashtrays directly. We organize a schedule of rotation of the cans, at a frequency adapted to your needs as well as all the logistics of sending the cans to our recycling unit.
  • collection directly from ashtrays → we can collect butts directly from ashtrays by us (Bordeaux and Lyon sectors) or via one of our ESS partners in your area, for as local support as possible.

Which associations are involved in the collection of cigarette butts?

We work with local structures of the Social and Solidarity Economy (associations, integration companies, adapted companies, integration projects, etc.) throughout France to offer local and solidarity collections!

This national network of SSE partners is part of our desire to participate in the creation of jobs for people who are far from it and to boost the local economy.

What is a Waste Tracking Form?

It is a regulatory document that we provide to you, which allows us to certify the traceability of the stages of transport and recovery of waste.

My canister is full, what should I do?

At the start of the support, we diagnose your needs and together decide on a schedule for the rotation of the collection cans. Depending on the frequency of rotation, the repatriation of your full cans to our recycling unit is scheduled by us and we will inform you of the exact date of removal of the full container and of receipt of the new container.

For any exceptional collection, you can trigger an additional rotation by contacting us directly.

Where is my canister rotation schedule?

Your container rotation schedule is freely available for consultation in your customer area.

Who do I contact for a logistical problem?

Your privileged contact for logistics issues or any operational question: logistique@keenat.com

How do I return the canister?

We send you the shipping label from the container to our recycling unit. On our side, we trigger the removal of the container from our transport partner, informing you of the date and time slot of its passage.

Butts recycling

Why is the cigarette butt a hazardous waste?

Hazardous waste is waste resulting from industrial activity representing a risk to health or the environment, and requiring appropriate treatment.

The cigarette butt is toxic waste (toxic properties HP6 and HP14), classified as hazardous waste by Ineris (National Institute for the Industrial Environment and Risks).

The butt is made up of tobacco scraps, paper and a filter, itself made of cellulose acetate.

What does the word recycling mean?

The waste is reprocessed into substances, materials or products for the same use or not. Recycling therefore refers to material recovery from waste. In the case of the EcoMégot recycling process, cigarette butts are transformed into a new plastic material, from the recycling of the cellulose acetate filter.

Can butts be recycled?

Yes ! Butts can be recycled like a lot of waste. We have worked for several years with laboratories to understand the composition of the butt and analyze the substances contained in the cigarette butt.

From these analyzes, we found the solution so that the cigarette ends are transformed into resources.

How to recycle cigarette butts?

Made from recycled and recyclable plastic! A cigarette butt contains 3 elements: the filter, paper and tobacco.

The cellulose acetate filter is transformed into this new recycled plastic material. Paper and tobacco, known as the “organic fraction”, are recovered via the energy recovery process specific to hazardous waste, in order to be transformed into Solid Substitute Fuel (CSS).

Where do cigarette butts go?

Material recycling is carried out in our recycling unit in Gironde.

The energy recovery of the organic fraction is carried out in several CSS partner recovery plants. You have the traceability of butts recovery in the regulatory documents that we send you regularly.

Is the recycling process patented?

Yes since 2020 and we are proud of it!

Can I just send my butts to ÉcoMégot to be recycled?

Butts are hazardous waste, the transport of this waste is therefore regulated and must comply with strict traceability. We therefore do not receive cigarette ends sent by individuals in order to comply with regulations specific to the transport of hazardous waste. But don’t hesitate to contact us, we can discuss it and find solutions together!

How much does the complete solution cost  ?

ÉcoMégot is a company that offers recycling of cigarette butts. It is a complete and tailor-made solution that includes the six services presented above. The cost of the service depends on the number of ashtrays to be installed, the range chosen and the frequency of cigarette butts collection.
Do not hesitate to contact us to receive a price proposal for our cigarette butt recycling solution in France and Belgium.


New arrivals

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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