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Why is it not recyclable?

Although most parts of the cigarette are biodegradable, the filter is not. According to 5gyres, the filter is made from cellulose acetate - which is a form of non-biodegradable plastic.

Did you know?

Smokers around the world buy about 4.5 trillion cigarettes each year. That is 18 billion cigarettes per day. And sadly enough, only a third of those end up in the waste bin, the rest are discarded into the environment. This is where they pose health risks to the environment and people alike.

The plastic filter traps all the nicotine and heavy metals, such as acetic acid, hexamine, arsenic, and chromium, and once littered into the environment, all those chemicals leaches into water bodies as the butts are washed into waterways, rivers and the ocean. These chemicals can remain in the environment for 10 years.

Cigarette butts are the most littered plastic item in the world, though plastic bags and straws have taken centre-stage as bad plastics, yet they are no match to the littering of cigarette butts.


  • Try your best to quit and think of the planet for your motivation.

  • If you cannot, use an e-cigarette, it is environmentally friendlier. To understand the environmental problems that traditional cigarettes cause, refer to The Tobacco-Free Life's website.

  • Roll your own, so that you can refuse and avoid the filter.

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