Art and crafts from cigarette butts? Disgusting! But creative reuse artists cannot be stopped! You will be amazed by what people have made from thousands of cigarette butts, plastic lighters, cigarette packaging, cigar boxes and cigarette vending machines.
You can listen to my podcast episode on creative reuse of cigarettes, lighters and old vending machines in this YouTube video. It originally aired in August 2018.
Many cigarette artists began as litter volunteers, participating in beach clean-ups around the world. In 2017, volunteers in the International Coastal Cleanup picked up 2.4 million cigarette butts – it was the most common form of litter. More than five trillion cigarette butts are tossed per year, so if there was ever a type of trash that needed creative thinking, this would be it!
You can see many project ideas on Trashmagination’s Pinterest board on cigarette butts, plastic lighters and related items.
Amazing Art Made from Cigarette Butts
Vissla and Surfrider Upcycling Contest – Entries Due September 13, 2018!
Taylor Lane was the 2017 winner in this contest. Design a surfboard or other water craft from recycled materials and win a prize
Jason Mecier’s Celebrity Portraits
Other Cigarette and Plastic Lighter Artists
- Sea Angels – beach clean-up organization in Florida – art from cigarette butts of marine life
- Shelly Marshall – sea turtle from 1,200 cigarette butts
- Susan Scott – Marine life art from plastic lighters in Hawaii
- Michelle Doherty jewelry from plastic lighter components in Thailand
- Tom Deininger “Filter Rabbit” – sculpture from cigarette filters
- Jesus Bubu Negron – carpet from cigarette butts
- Flore Garcia Boure – dress from cigarette butts – if you love this dress, check out the Trashmagination podcast episode on trash fashion!
- Many items made from cigarette packaging – such as dresses, purses, sketchbooks etc!
Cigarette Vending Machines and the Art-o-Mat
One of my favorite creative reuse projects! Art-o-Mat refurbishes cigarette vending machines to sell art Search to find a machine near you! Artists contribute art and get paid when the art sells through these machines. The art has to be at least as small as a cigarette box. Follow Art-o-Mat on Instagram to see examples of art sold in the machines, and announcements of where they are installing new machines. In the Washington DC area, where I live, every District Taco restaurant has one, as well as the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Ways to Discourage Smokers from Littering
Terracycle Cigarette Recycling Program
Indian Company Core Enterprises Recycling Cigarette Butts