WINSTON-SALEM — E-cigarettes are becoming more popular as the tobacco industry evolves and grows, and it can be seen by the litter on the ground.
Many of the products contain nicotine, lithium ion batteries, microchips, plastic and other materials which are harmful to the environment.
Despite many areas having cigarette disposal sites, cigarette butts continue to be the most-tossed piece of trash in the world, making up about 38 percent of litter worldwide according a Keep America Beautiful study.
However, there are incentive programs available for smokers to recycle e-cigarette cartridges.
Some cigarette companies like Reynolds American, which makes Vuse and Green Smoke, allow adult smokers to register online and receive free envelopes which they can then send their used e-cigs and cartridges in to get recycled free of charge.
Reynolds says their product is then melted down and recycled into reusable raw material.
Tobacco companies say it makes sense for people to recycle the used products.
"We make it very easy, sign up for our program, it's totally free. We'll send you an envelope and you send us the used product. It's as easy as that. There's no need to littler, because we have this technology in place. It's how we seek to transform the tobacco category,” said Richard Smith of Reynolds American Communications.
The Vuse recycling program accepts competitors' products as well. Smith said there really is no reason not to recycle.