HSE

The Paper Route to Recycling Cigarette Butts: Interview with Marcos Poiato, Poiato Recicla Ltda - ME

by Fleming. Team

Working in Marketing, Marcos Poiato, had been a banker for 17 years in Sorocaba (SP) and then worked another nine years as a sales executive in the pharmaceutical industry. After 26 years as an employee, he founded Poiato Recicla, which was officially inaugurated in 2010 and which today presents itself as the first "cigarette waste" collection and recycling station in Brazil.

Marcos Poiato
Poiato recicla Ltda
CEO

1) What is the motivation behind the origins of your company which recycles only cigarette butts?

All over the world when people talk about cigarettes, only the health aspects are highlighted and we agree on the harms of cigarette smoking, we even understand that it would be ideal that people do not smoke. However, there are millions of smokers around the world who habitually throw this waste on the streets and sidewalks.

The proposal of Poiato recicla is to encourage this change of behavior and create devices for this collaboration and the possibility of recycling this waste using innovative technology. At the same time we have created a broad channel of communication with the society to highlight all the harms of cigarettes to the environment.
Poiato recicla has the concept to work with the three pillars of sustainability, economic, social and environmental, while inserting in its processes ISO 14001 Environmental Management System and also the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations, in which it has achieved four goals: to achieve universal primary education, to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, to ensure environmental sustainability and to develop a global partnership for development.

2) How important is it to segregate cigarette butts from other waste and if not sorted correctly what are it's implications?

Research shows that cigarette waste has thousands of toxic substances. In contact with the soil and water they cause contamination, mortality of fish and animals, forest fire and this contamination will be linked to health damages in the near future. The social and environmental costs of this waste is extremely high and could be avoided with an environmental education program.

3) Very few people are aware of the damage cigarette butts cause, how can awareness be created around this?

This statement is true, we believe that because it is small and has no weight, this residue is ignored by most people. This reality can only be modified with a set of actions that allow the correct disposal, the collection of the residue (logistics), adequate processing without causing other negative impacts and with enormous educational effort. It is important here the participation of all to stimulate the engagement of actions.

4) What are the other by products that can be generated from cigarette waste other than paper?

There are several products that can be produced from the cellulosic mass such as packaging, chemical absorption blankets, wall covering and acoustic coating.


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