Smoking is a global phenomenon that’s not going away anytime soon, no matter how pervasive the bans in South Africa become. Since the turn of the century, global cigarette volume sales have increased by about 8%. Cigarette butts continue to be the most commonly littered item in the Country and around the world today. They are one of the top 10 pollutants on our beaches entering the marine environment. Cigarettes contain toxins that, when littered, leak into the surrounding environment. It only takes a single cigarette butt to contaminate a liter of water. Animals can also mistake littered butts for food.
A local Company called Verda Waste has established partnerships with Local and International Waste Management Companies to address the problem. Cigarette Waste is collected, shredded and separated. The plastic (such as the cigarette filters) undergo palletization and extrusion and molded into various industrial products, such as shipping pallets, railway sleepers, bricks, ashtrays and any remaining tobacco is recycled as compost.
Not only is this good for the environment, but a huge job creation boost in our economy.
Verda Waste is in the process of stringent selection and training of 10 suppliers in Gauteng who will be allocated territories to collect and sell cigarette waste to the company.