Buying Cigarettes
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Company Working To Recycle Cigarette Butts Into Plastic

A Dublin man developed a patented process of recycling cigarette butts into plastic, 10TV's Josh Poland reported on Friday.

Blake Burich's Dublin garage is filled with cigarette butts collected from a number of partnerships, including Kick Butt Columbus.

A cigarette butt flicked onto his car windshield in 2003 prompted Burich to found his company, InnovaGreen Systems.

"I was driving down the highway and somebody flicked a cigarette butt out their window, and it bounced off my windshield and (I) just got to thinking, there's something we can do about that," Burich said.

The process to change the butts into plastic surprises many, Poland reported.

"A lot of times, you give people a piece of plastic and they're like, 'No way. That's not cigarettes,'" Burich said.

According to Burich, the plastic that he creates can have a number of uses.

"Insulation products, sound deadening, paint additives, water proofing, rust proofing," Burich said.

Burich also created cigarette butt receptacles -- made from cigarette butts.

"Our intention is to get them before they hit the ground," Burich said.

The Parsons Avenue Merchants Association used grant money last year to purchase 10 InnovaGreen cigarette butt receptacles.

Business owners said that the receptacles are helping to cut back on cigarette litter, Poland reported.

"Before we put these receptacles out, after a rainstorm, I could have 10 to 20 cigarette butts washed up on my sidewalk and now I get very few," said Jeff Knoll, owner of The Graphic Touch.

Burich said that he hoped to grow his business by shrinking cigarette litter.

"Let's stop trashing our environment," Burich said.

According to Burich, a number of partnerships have allowed him to recycle more than 1 million cigarette butts since 2003. He plans to open a cigarette butt recycling facility in Groveport in July.

Published: Friday, June 15, 2012

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