In order to curb environmental pollution, a man in Punjab started a company to convert cigarette filters into home decorations and mosquito repellent. According to environmental experts, discarded cigarette filters, also called cigarette butts, are one of the main factors causing land pollution. The plastic component called cellulose acetate in the filter takes up to 10 years to decompose.
As a resident of Mohali, Twinkle Kumar launched a project to combat land pollution by recycling cigarette butts into toys, cushions and mosquito repellent. In order to collect as many raw materials (cigarette butts) as possible, Kumar also installed public trash bins in all smoking areas in Mohali. According to ANI, his initiative is supported by local women who are engaged in the collection, processing and processing of cigarette butts.
“I learned about the concept of cigarette recycling, which interested me very much. I contacted companies that already did this and learned the process. After that, I started my business in Mohali,” Twinkle Kumar in an interview with ANI Say.
Kumar gained knowledge of cigarette butt recycling through online videos on YouTube. After losing his job during the first phase of the Covid-19 lockdown in India, he wanted to start his own business. As ANI said, Kumar was "very interested" in the idea of saving the environment. He joined a company that was already involved in the industry. After receiving formal training, Kumar started his own business in Mohari and hired a group of local women to provide them with a daily salary.
Speaking of his journey, Kumar said that the business did encounter problems in the early stages. However, people expressed support after understanding the motivation behind the business.
He added detailed information about his business and said that the women collected cigarette butts from trash bins placed in commercial smoking areas in the city. The filter is then brought to the manufacturing unit for cleaning to eliminate the toxic components present in it. Kumar informs that they undergo a chemical treatment to completely detoxify them before being transformed into the final product.
"Although, people shouldn't smoke at all. However, for those who smoke regardless of health risks, we ask them to discard the cigarette butts in the collection box," Kumar said.
Finally, Kumar has raised awareness of the environmental damage caused by random disposal of cigarette butts. "When dumped in the environment, they not only cause plastic pollution, but also release the nicotine and other chemicals they absorb," Kumar said. He also urged people to use cigarette butt trash cans to reduce environmental pollution.