Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Recycling cigarette butts: Student Sustainability Video Festival 66

It's time to resume the Student Sustainability Video Festival after the New Year holiday weekend.  I'm tying the subject of today's videos to a popular New Years resolution, quitting smoking.  However, the videos are not about ending that particular addiction, but instead about reducing the damage smoking inflicts on the environment.  One of my students found a video on that topic, Turning Cigarette Butts Into Park Benches from National Geographic.

Cigarette butts are one of the most common kinds of litter, found everywhere from land to waterways. The tobacco and paper in them will break down, so those can be composted. But the filters contain a plastic, and that can take years to decompose. Yet if the butts are carefully processed, the cellulose acetate can be used to make things such as park benches and pallets. Recycling companies like TerraCycle are also refining their processing methods to create higher-end plastic products.
That's good news worth spreading.

Stay tuned for two more installments of this series.

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