As much as cigarette smoking causes hazardous health problems, the used filters or cigarette butts, as they are commonly known as are also a major reason for waste and pollution. Discarded almost everywhere on roads to drains to every nook and corner that could be found, these cigarette filters are a primary source of harm to people and animals too. Sensing the problem, a Mohali-based man has devised a way to reuse the filters and make something creative out of it. Entrepreneur Twinkle Kumar has set up a unit to recycle cigarette butts into toys, cushions and mosquito repellants and other items.
Kumar lost his job amid the coronavirus lockdown last year and in hopes of starting something new was searching Youtube videos to start something creative and new when he chanced upon cigarette recycling.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Kumar said, ‘I got to know about the concept of cigarette recycling, and it intrigued me. I approached the company that was already doing this and learned the process. After that, I started my business in Mohali."
Punjab: Mohali-based entrepreneur Twinkle Kumar is recycling cigarette butts into toys, cushions, and mosquito repellants. "We have installed bins at commercial spaces with smoking zones to collect cigarette butts which are processed and converted into useful things," he says pic.twitter.com/qMaIjmnXYz— ANI (@ANI) September 8, 2021
Kumar said apart from some missteps during the start of the business, the response to these items have been good from the locals. “We’ve also employed local women, who’re engaged in collection, processing and conversion of butts."
For the basic ‘raw’ materials or the cigaratte butts, Kumar and his workers have installed bins at most public spaces with smoking zones.
“We are collecting the butts by installing collecting bins at all smoking zones in public places across the city. We then process and clean the butts chemically and remove the toxic components from them, after that they are used for toys, cushions, and mosquito repellants."
Cigarette butts are made of cellulose acetate, which is one of the earliest synthetic fibers and when discarded, they take 10 years to degrade. Discarding them on roads and drains not only causes waste accumulation but the nicotine from it also causes pollution.
Reiterating the harmful results of cigarette, Kumar had a special request for those who do smoke. “We request them to discard the butts at the collection boxes we installed. This way, they not only help us but also help in reducing the environmental pollution."