TerraCycle has joined forces with EZ Products CLS TM, a company committed to providing safe, convenient and environmentally friendly smoking solutions to the public. Through the “The Butt Stops Here TM” initiative, the golf carts at Rolling Hills, a Tempe-owned golf course in Arizona, managed by Gemini Golf, Tempe LLC, have been outfitted with cup ash trays and the collected cigarette waste is recycled into new products through TerraCycle.
As the world’s most littered item, billions of cigarette butts get tossed on shorelines, park grounds and sidewalks across the United States every year. If not addressed, cigarette waste persists for several years and poses a serious environmental threat as toxic chemicals leach into soil and bodies of water become contaminated with substances hazardous to marine life.
To prevent cigarette litter pollution, “The Butt Stops Here” program equipped seven golf carts at Rolling Hills with custom-made cigarette receptacles through a grant provided by Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and with assistance from Keep Phoenix Beautiful, a KAB affiliate. After being shipped to TerraCycle, the waste collected through the program is processed into plastic pellets for use in a variety of recycled products and the remaining tobacco is composted.
“Since implementing the program at Rolling Hills, we’ve shipped approximately 20,250 cigarette butts to TerraCycle — effectively removing them from the environment,” says Michael Sickles, EZ Products CLS founder & CEO. “This is only a drop in the bucket when an estimated 4.5 trillion cigarette butts still contaminate the environment each year but it’s a start and there is power in numbers,” Sickles added. “It’s our time, let’s take the first step together. We are inviting all general managers, golf course owners, golf professionals, and concerned citizens to utilize our program, joining us in our journey of making a difference in reducing and ultimately eliminating cigarette litter from the environment.”
Apart from improving environmental health, these receptacles also provide numerous other advantages. From a value-creating perspective, participation in the Cigarette Recycling Program enables companies to offer their valued customers the opportunity to protect the environment and contribute to the well-being of overall society; the essence of “doing well by doing good.” This in turn separates responsible businesses from their competitors while providing psychic income for the company’s employees; boosting overall morale, motivation and productivity which consequently enhances subsequent customer relations.
Likewise, any additional time spent emptying the ashtrays is time well-spent to provide this additional service to their customers and is offset further by eliminating the potential for burn marks on the carts and additional cigarette litter cleanup on the golf course.