Monte-Carlo SBM backs project transforming cigarette butts into insulation

An initiative created by the Monte-Carlo Casino to eliminate discarded cigarette butts from finding their way into the seas has morphed into a full-scale operation that has spread to the whole of the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer Group.  

Current estimates suggest that there are around 4.5 trillion cigarette butts polluting our planet. Stubbornly refusing to biodegrade and slowly emitting a chemical cocktail of toxic and carcinogenic substances, they frequently make their way into the natural environment, damaging soils, waterways, lakes and the oceans.  

There are several initiatives in place in the Principality that aim to limit the chances of cigarette butts being washed into the Mediterranean, from the Zéro Mégot campaign run by the Mairie de Monaco to the signs put up around the Place du Casino that remind the public to use the available rubbish bins and avoid littering. 

Signs and plaques bearing the words ‘The sea starts here’ can be found throughout the Place du Casino. Photo source: Monte-Carlo SBM

The Monte-Carlo Casino decided to take things further and, having collected up a massive amount of discarded butts, its management team reached out to TchaoMégot, a French company that specialises in recycling butts without using water or chemicals in a bid to turn them into useful items such as thermal insulation and other alternative products.  

Around 56,000 butts have already been sent to TchaoMégot. They have since been transformed into 15.8kg of insulation via a process that saved 28 million litres of water and 197kg of CO2 compared to traditional techniques.

This idea has now caught on and is being embraced by the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer Group (SBM), the owners of the Casino, who recently used some of this ingenious insulation at Monte-Carlo Beach. The hotel is now also collecting cigarette butts for TchaoMégot.  

For more information on the work being done by TchaoMégot, click here.

Read related:

Monaco revives free ashtray campaign to reduce cigarette butt pollution


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Main photo source: TchaoMégot, Facebook