Waste is a problem. We’ve been helping solve it, one piece at a time, via our collection brigades for years now. Literally billions of pieces, collected by millions of people each earning 2 cents donated to the charity of people’s choice. That translates into $100,000 a month in the US alone. And we’re currently in 5 countries, aiming for 10 this year.
So far we’ve been source agnostic about it, like the recycling companies do. We may be a green company, but that hasn’t meant we only take waste from companies with pristine eco records. And really, what company is completely perfect when it comes to being sustainable? If anybody claims to be so, I’m quite certain they’re lying or delusional.
But what would you say if I told you we were approached by a major cigarette company to partner with them in collecting cigarette butts, to be upcycled into new products? Makes you think, doesn’t it? What do you think about that? I’d like to hear.
And at the same time, our goal is singular – It’s to solve the problem of waste. If we were to be exclusionary in who we took waste from, it would be counterproductive to our bigger goal, and the broader benefit to us all: Reduced waste, and a greater amount of people having a different view of what’s possible. As we like to say, reduce, reuse, rethink. The current reality is that there are much more products outside then inside the green bubble, and their packaging isn’t going away any time soon. So I say, let’s do something about it!
But butts are a problem. Or are they?
Yes, there can be thorny issues when it comes to cigarettes. But let’s not confuse those with what we’re considering here. You may not like smoking and what it represents, but would you like to see the sea of butts collected and reused for a positive purpose? I thought so.
Even better, what if the proceeds from collecting butts went to smoking prevention/education/addiction addressing charities and organizations?
What if ashtrays everywhere were replaced with stylish collection devices that educated people on upcycling? Waste eliminated, and minds expanded, both on that end, and when people by products made from what’s been collected.
So, should we partner and create a “butt brigade”? If so, making what? If not, why not? I look forward to your feedback.