A Mohali-based company has found a way to reduce the pollution caused by used cigarette butts. Twinkle Kumar, the founder of the company, recycles used cigarette filters to make toys, cushions and mosquito repellants. Kumar who lost his job due to the COVID-induced lockdown and started watching YouTube videos to find a means to generate some income.
His company installed bins at commercial spaces to collect the cigarette filters to be used as raw material.
Engaging Local Business
" 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 and after that, I started my business in Mohali," said Twinkle Kumar as reported by ANI.
He also mentioned that his start-up had employed local women engaged in the collection, processing and conversion of the butts. When asked about the roadblocks he faced, Kumar said that the response has been good so far, barring the initial hiccups. He further added, "We are collecting the butts by installing collecting bins at all smoking zones in public places across the city."
Cigarette Filters Take Up To 10 Years To Degrade
The company then processes and cleans the butts chemically and removes toxic components that could harm the workers. After the cleaning process is completed, the residue is filled inside soft toys, cushions and make mosquito repellents out of them. Cigarette butts are made of cellulose acetate that takes up to 10 years to degrade into microplastics. When the used cigarette filters are dumped into the environment, they cause plastic pollution and release nicotine and other elements into the environment.
The entrepreneur mentioned that though the company does not want people to smoke regarding health hazards. However, he also said that people who spoke despite health risks should be mindful that the butts are discarded only in collection boxes.