Well, judging from the material plus previous knowledge (and a google search to double check), I would say that disposable lighters are more harmful. Lighters are typically plastic (though you can get some nice metal ones… you wouldn’t throw one away though!), which takes a quite a while to degrade (take a plastic bottle, for example), not to mention they don’t seem like something that’s really recycled or made from recycled materials. However, I really could be wrong.
Matches? They’re made out of recycled cardboard and are more easy to degrade than plastic lighters.
I would definitely agree that plastic lighters like Bic lighters should in general be avoided if you wanna be eco-conscious because plastic products are harmful to produce and harmful to throw out. But what about a good ol’ Zippo that theoretically never gets thrown out? There are lots of stainless steel lighters out there that you can refill with butane. The only byproducts of a butane lighter is H2O and CO2. But its not like a smoke stack- I mean we all breathe out CO2. So in theory reusable butane lighters are a good bet because they don’t waste tree-based materials (like matches) or plastics (like Bic lighters).
you must consider however refilling the Zippo. I was reading another discussion out there that said the refill container is just as bad. I would go with matches; matches may need trees to produce, but we can make tree farms to fill the need. however sadly, there are times when a lighter is necessary.
I would have to believe what has been said in many articles and blogs about this topic and the reason for this is that: “Most lighters are made out of plastic and filled with butane fuel, both petroleum products. Since most lighters are considered “disposable,” over 1.5 billion end up in landfills each year. When choosing matches, pick cardboard over wood. Wood matches come from trees, whereas most cardboard matches are made from recycled paper.”
Technically matches are made from renewable resources (wood), whereas lighters require fuel from non-renewable resources. Matches also can come from recycled materials such as sandpaper and also do not create unnecessary discarded plastic or metallic waste.
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