Bratislava, Slovakia, is pioneering a new way to recycle cigarette butts. The capital city’s municipal waste management company announced a new push to collect and reuse discarded cigarettes in 2024. They are placing specially designed containers for discarded cigarettes at public events and will use the cigarette butts to create asphalt for roads. “If visitors to a festival, run, market or other urban event throw cigarette butts into a special container, they will not only contribute to a cleaner environment but to the material recovery of this type of waste,” said Martina Čechová, manager of the circular economy at OLO, one of the companies involved with the recycling process. There is already a road in Slovakia made by EcoButt using discarded cigarettes, the first such road in the world. Only an estimated third of the cigarette butts from the 18 billion cigarettes smoked worldwide each day end up in a rubbish or recycling bin. Used cigarettes thrown on the ground are problematic for the environment because they release toxic substances which can contaminate water, soil and ecosystems.

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