City-based start-up initiates an action plan to recycle cigarette butts


To recycle the cigarette butt waste which is a huge environmental issue, Green Waves environmental solutions, an authorized start-up based in Vizag to collect, segregate and recycle waste, has taken an initiative to recycle the cigarette butts.

As a pilot project of the Cigar recycling, bins have been placed at smoking areas like Gajuwaka and Siripuram where the cigarette butts are collected. They are then sorted and recycled procedurally.

Recently, testing on cigarette waste recycling by green waves environmental solutions to study the process of recycling. After the cigarette butts are collected, they are segregated into three parts- the used tobacco, the filter, and the paper compost.

The used tobacco is used as compost and natural pesticide, the paper is composted, and the filter is sterilized and dried. After it is dried, the butt is cut where a hard-plastic material is obtained and the leftover if filtered into small pieces. The plastic is recycled, and the rest of the material is dipped in hot herbal water to remove the hazardous substances.
The soaked filter is dried and after testing, appropriate recycling is done. For example, upcycled objects like decors (To spread awareness on ‘No smoking’) are made and sold/distributed.

Anil Chowdary, Managing Director of green waves, said, “Cigarette butts are everywhere – clogging up our streets, littering our beaches and for decades they have been thought of as ‘unrecyclable’ because they contain such a tightly packed mix of organic and inorganic products that recycling companies can’t deal with them.”

Adding that already 1.5 tonnes of cigarette butts have been collected, Anil said, “Most of our litter eventually ends up in waterways, and cigarettes contain a whole lot of toxins that can contaminate the surrounding environment. It only takes a single cigarette butt to contaminate a liter of water and animals can also mistake littered butts for food.”

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