Some 50,000 Canadians from every province and territory collected more
than 5 million cigarette filters in year one
TORONTO, June 19, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - A sustainable process for
recycling cigarette waste has long been overdue. This is the belief
that inspired TerraCycle and Imperial Tobacco Canada to partner in 2012
in an innovative program to recycle the butts, inner foil, outer wrap,
unused tobacco, ashes and other elements that comprise cigarette waste
- the most littered item in Canada and worldwide.
As a result close to 50,000 people and more than one hundred
organizations have banded together to recycle more than five million
cigarette filters in the first year of the program. Today, TerraCycle
released information on support from Imperial Tobacco Canada and
Terracycle's plans for 2013, which includes the goal of surpassing the
milestone of 10 million filters collected and recycled.
"Several years ago, in the spirit of our vision of eliminating the very
idea of garbage, we set our sights on tackling cigarette waste," says
Tom Szaky, the Toronto-native entrepreneur who launched TerraCycle in
2001. "Cigarettes butts are one of the planet's most ubiquitous waste
streams. We are delighted that Imperial Tobacco Canada and its
employees shared our dream to provide Canadians with an alternative to
cigarette waste. With such a successful first year under our belts,
we're urging all Canadians to consider joining us in 2013."
Called the Cigarette Waste Brigade, this environmental program goes well beyond basic recycling; it also
incentivizes Canadians by offering money for each pound of cigarette
waste collected that can be directed to registered charities, and by
making plastic products from the collected tobacco-related waste.
Cigarette filters and packaging are recycled into various plastic
products for industrial use such as plastic pallets while the ash,
leftover paper and tobacco are composted according to industry
guidelines. The profits from the sale of the plastic products are then
re-invested into the social enterprise, allowing it to grow its
national and international programs. The company's revenues are
expected to reach $18 million in 2013.
By making plastic products from recycled cigarette waste, the program
not only reduces the amount of litter in Canada, but also reduces the
need to employ wood or virgin plastic in the production of common
"We're committed to working with consumers, employees and our partners
to forge a tobacco industry that continually improves its performance
in the area of corporate social responsibility," says Marie Polet, CEO
and President at Imperial Tobacco Canada. "We are honoured and
privileged to support the Cigarette Waste Brigade program."
Free and easy to join
All smokers above the age of 19 as well as offices or organizations can
participate in the program by visiting www.terracycle.ca.
Collectors are asked to deposit the waste in any plastic bag - which
will also be recycled - and to gather the bags into a cardboard box.
Once enough waste is collected, collectors log into their account and
print a free prepaid UPS shipping label to return their box or boxes of
cigarette waste at no cost to them. The participant's account will be
credited with 100 points (equal to $1) per pound of waste received.
The points can be used to purchase charity gifts or converted to cash
for donation to a charity or non-profit of the collector's choice.
TerraCycle accepts every element of cigarette waste except the
cardboard outer box, which can be readily recyclable by all municipal
programs in Canada.
Cigarette filters represented the single largest category of litter
collected during the 2012 edition of The Great CanadianShoreline Cleanup. To date, TerraCycle's recycling programs have raised more than seven
million dollars to charities around the world.
TerraCycle, Inc. is an international upcycling company that takes
difficult-to-recycle packaging and turns it into affordable, innovative
products. Founded in 2001, TerraCycle is the world leader in the
collection and reuse of non-recyclable post-consumer waste. It
repurposes the waste into new materials and products that are available
for purchase online. The waste is collected through TerraCycle's
Brigade® programs, which pay individuals and groups for every piece of
waste they collect and return. To learn more, visit www.terracycle.ca
About Imperial Tobacco Canada
Imperial Tobacco Canada is Canada's leading tobacco company, employing
nearly 600 people across the country in regional sales offices and at
its Montreal head office. Imperial Tobacco is a member of the British
American Tobacco Group - a leading tobacco company employing more than
55,000 people worldwide with over 200 brands sold in 180 countries.
Image with caption: "Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle (right), struts his butts to Eric Gagnon of Imperial Tobacco Canada on June 19 in Toronto. With help from collectors across Canada, TerraCycle gathered more than five million cigarette butts in the first year of its Cigarette Waste Brigade program. (CNW Group/TerraCycle Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130619_C9582_PHOTO_EN_28288.jpg
SOURCE: TerraCycle Canada Inc.
For further information:
416-661-9676 / 800-758-2943
Imperial Tobacco Canada
514-932-6161 ext. 2222