Comments on: It’s Not My Fault I’m a Butt Guy http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/11/19/its-not-my-fault-im-a-butt-guy/ News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy Sun, 17 Aug 2014 23:28:13 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 By: ZilchUK http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/11/19/its-not-my-fault-im-a-butt-guy/#comment-535 ZilchUK Wed, 21 Nov 2012 19:31:54 +0000 http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=3582#comment-535 The idea of capturing and recycling butts is an interesting one.  We're in the process of assessing a solution that will capture the millions of cigarette butts that are otherwise thrown out of vehicle windows onto the road.  We would certainly be interested, if the tobacco companies are really serious about the litter their customers generate, to be in touch with them to see how they might promote the idea and it would fit very well with this scheme.  Do you have their contact details?  You can reach us via our website. The idea of capturing and recycling butts is an interesting one.  We’re in the process of assessing a solution that will capture the millions of cigarette butts that are otherwise thrown out of vehicle windows onto the road.  We would certainly be interested, if the tobacco companies are really serious about the litter their customers generate, to be in touch with them to see how they might promote the idea and it would fit very well with this scheme.  Do you have their contact details?  You can reach us via our website.

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By: PaulLedesma http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/11/19/its-not-my-fault-im-a-butt-guy/#comment-534 PaulLedesma Wed, 21 Nov 2012 01:53:01 +0000 http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=3582#comment-534 @NickMallos  @PaulLedesma Thanks for your response. But, my first question is still unanswered. How does recycling butts help the ocean? The issue is not landfill diversion of millions cigarette butts. The issue is improper disposal of billions of butts in the environment. For the sake of arguing this point, we'll leave aside issues of recylability, such as commodity prices and other factors that would have to do with an economically sustainable business model. Let's just focus on the gap in reasoning between whether  or not something is recycled and what that has to do with whether or not that thing (a cigarette butt) gets littered. The only nexus between the two is a deposit such those on beverage containers in many states. Unless someone proposes a deposit on butts, there really is no connection.  Reynolds-TerraCycle program looks like a token program at best. But, it is only dealing with the problem after the fact and is disconnected from the act of littering.     The business case for this program appears to be fundamentally flawed.  In brief, butts -- even after being collected and cleaned (a very expensive process relative to their commodity value) -- aren't worth very much.  They will compete in a limited marketplace with other low grade plastics. The best market for these butts might be as incineration fuel.  How many people think burning toxic butts for energy is a good idea?   Cigarette butt recycling does nothing for litter. @NickMallos  @PaulLedesma Thanks for your response. But, my first question is still unanswered. How does recycling butts help the ocean? The issue is not landfill diversion of millions cigarette butts. The issue is improper disposal of billions of butts in the environment. For the sake of arguing this point, we’ll leave aside issues of recylability, such as commodity prices and other factors that would have to do with an economically sustainable business model. Let’s just focus on the gap in reasoning between whether  or not something is recycled and what that has to do with whether or not that thing (a cigarette butt) gets littered. The only nexus between the two is a deposit such those on beverage containers in many states. Unless someone proposes a deposit on butts, there really is no connection.  Reynolds-TerraCycle program looks like a token program at best. But, it is only dealing with the problem after the fact and is disconnected from the act of littering.  
 
The business case for this program appears to be fundamentally flawed.  In brief, butts — even after being collected and cleaned (a very expensive process relative to their commodity value) — aren’t worth very much.  They will compete in a limited marketplace with other low grade plastics. The best market for these butts might be as incineration fuel.  How many people think burning toxic butts for energy is a good idea?
 
Cigarette butt recycling does nothing for litter.

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By: NickMallos http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/11/19/its-not-my-fault-im-a-butt-guy/#comment-533 NickMallos Tue, 20 Nov 2012 18:49:08 +0000 http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=3582#comment-533 @PaulLedesma Hi Paul, thank you for your feedback on my post. Currently, the millions of cigarette butts picked off the beach by volunteers are sent to a landfill via waste haulers; but with the Reynolds-TerraCycle collaborative we have an opportunity to divert these items from landfills and repurpose them into functional, durable goods. I cannot speak to the tobacco industry’s ability to finance this project long-term nor do I know to what scale this project will grow, but I do strongly believe that a comprehensive suite of solutions are necessary to solve the ocean plastics problem. In an ideal world and one that we are determined to realize, we will divert all trash from landfills to maximize its value. As I mention in my piece, consumers reducing consumption or choosing more benign product materials is the preferred option. However, in certain circumstances—such as cigarette butts—we need to think creatively and make certain we do not simply throw our trash “away.” And because of this latter reason, I felt it was appropriate to acknowledge the initiative taken by the above organizations to address a persistent pollution problem that plagues our streets, beaches and waterways. @PaulLedesma
Hi Paul, thank you for your feedback on my post. Currently, the millions of cigarette butts picked off the beach by volunteers are sent to a landfill via waste haulers; but with the Reynolds-TerraCycle collaborative we have an opportunity to divert these items from landfills and repurpose them into functional, durable goods. I cannot speak to the tobacco industry’s ability to finance this project long-term nor do I know to what scale this project will grow, but I do strongly believe that a comprehensive suite of solutions are necessary to solve the ocean plastics problem. In an ideal world and one that we are determined to realize, we will divert all trash from landfills to maximize its value. As I mention in my piece, consumers reducing consumption or choosing more benign product materials is the preferred option. However, in certain circumstances—such as cigarette butts—we need to think creatively and make certain we do not simply throw our trash “away.” And because of this latter reason, I felt it was appropriate to acknowledge the initiative taken by the above organizations to address a persistent pollution problem that plagues our streets, beaches and waterways.

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By: NickMallos http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/11/19/its-not-my-fault-im-a-butt-guy/#comment-532 NickMallos Tue, 20 Nov 2012 18:30:27 +0000 http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=3582#comment-532 Hi Paul, thank you for your feedback on my post. Currently, the millions of cigarette butts picked off the beach by volunteers are sent to a landfill via waste haulers; but with the Reynolds-TerraCycle collaborative we have an opportunity to divert these items from landfills and repurpose them into functional, durable goods. I cannot speak to the tobacco industry’s ability to finance this project long-term nor do I know to what scale this project will grow, but I do strongly believe that a comprehensive suite of solutions are necessary to solve the ocean plastics problem. In an ideal world and one that we are determined to realize, we will divert all trash from landfills to maximize its value. As I mention in my piece, consumers reducing consumption or choosing more benign product materials is the preferred option. However, in certain circumstances—such as cigarette butts—we need to think creatively and make certain we do not simply throw our trash “away.” And because of this latter reason, I felt it was appropriate to acknowledge the initiative taken by the above organizations to address a persistent pollution problem that plagues our streets, beaches and waterways. Hi Paul, thank you for your feedback on my post. Currently, the millions of cigarette butts picked off the beach by volunteers are sent to a landfill via waste haulers; but with the Reynolds-TerraCycle collaborative we have an opportunity to divert these items from landfills and repurpose them into functional, durable goods. I cannot speak to the tobacco industry’s ability to finance this project long-term nor do I know to what scale this project will grow, but I do strongly believe that a comprehensive suite of solutions are necessary to solve the ocean plastics problem. In an ideal world and one that we are determined to realize, we will divert all trash from landfills to maximize its value. As I mention in my piece, consumers reducing consumption or choosing more benign product materials is the preferred option. However, in certain circumstances—such as cigarette butts—we need to think creatively and make certain we do not simply throw our trash “away.” And because of this latter reason, I felt it was appropriate to acknowledge the initiative taken by the above organizations to address a persistent pollution problem that plagues our streets, beaches and waterways.

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By: PaulLedesma http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/11/19/its-not-my-fault-im-a-butt-guy/#comment-531 PaulLedesma Tue, 20 Nov 2012 17:01:41 +0000 http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=3582#comment-531 I'm very puzzled by the lack of critical scrutiny this story is getting. Ask yourselves two questions: (1) What do butts on the beach have to do with butts in the landfill? (2) What happens if this really catches on and the BILLIONS of butts start getting collected? Is big tobacco going to continue footing the bill? For how long? I’m very puzzled by the lack of critical scrutiny this story is getting. Ask yourselves two questions: (1) What do butts on the beach have to do with butts in the landfill? (2) What happens if this really catches on and the BILLIONS of butts start getting collected? Is big tobacco going to continue footing the bill? For how long?

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