Cigarette butts are the most littered item in Pennsylvania

Cigarette butts are the most frequently littered item along Pennsylvania’s roadways according to the 2020 Pennsylvania Litter Study. Lack of awareness that cigarette butts are a form of litter, lack of ash receptacles and the increase of outdoor smoking adds to the cigarette litter problem across the state.

Since 2010, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has implemented the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program and Terracycle’s Cigarette Waste Recycling Program with grant funding from Keep America Beautiful. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has implemented the program in 35 of the 121 state parks with an overall, combined cigarette litter reduction rate of 67%.

Cigarette butts collected at the state parks are shipped to Terracycle where the various materials that make up a cigarette butt are separated and processed. The filters are melted into hard plastic that can be remolded for various industrial products, such as plastic benches. The residual tobacco and paper are separated out and composted.

To learn more, visit Keep America Beautiful's Cigarette Litter Prevention website.

Recycled-content bench and educational sign at Prince Gallitzin State Park