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Cigarette butts turned into ashtrays

Tarn town leads way in recycling of cigarette ends

One town has found an innovative way to create something positive from the cigarette butts littering its streets... it turns them into ashtrays.

Castres, in Tarn, is the first in France to join a recycling scheme for cigarette ends to find new uses for the cellulose fibre in the filters which fouls sewage plants and pollutes water as it can take 15 years to decompose.

Brittany company MéGO ( launched the scheme to collect, clean and reuse the fibre to create office equipment, such as pencil pots. The material has also been used to make ashtrays and some 20 brushed stainless steel ashtrays, made by a local foundry and stamped with Castres’ coat-of-arms, were set up in 12 spots in the centre of the historic town in September.

More than 20kg of butts have been recycled as a result, a spokesman for Castres-Mazamet local authority told Connexion.

Butts are transported to a recycling plant for preparation. Organic material, such as ash, paper or tobacco residue, is used in compost while the cellulose acetate of the filters is cleaned and transformed into plastic beads, which are then used to make other objects.

Other towns have now started similar projects.

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