From stubs to soft toys, an Indian factory recycles cigarette ends

Published: Updated:
Enable Read mode
100% Font Size

Sitting on the floor of a house on the outskirts of New Delhi, women smile and chat as they fill brightly colored toy bears with white stuffing made from a product more commonly found in a trash can.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

The material is composed of cigarette stubs, separated into fibers and cleaned and bleached after being gathered from the city streets where they had been discarded along with millions of others.

Reprocessing them into a range of products including toys and pillows is the brainchild of businessman Naman Gupta.

Women workers make soft toys using recycled fibre separated from cigarette filter tips at a cigarette butts recycling factory in Noida, India September 12, 2022. (Reuters)
Women workers make soft toys using recycled fibre separated from cigarette filter tips at a cigarette butts recycling factory in Noida, India September 12, 2022. (Reuters)

“We started with 10 grams (of fiber per day) and now we are doing 1,000 kilograms ... Annually we are able to recycle millions of cigarette butts,” he told Reuters from his factory on the outskirts of the Indian capital.

His workers also separate out the butts’ outer layer and tobacco, which are turned into recycled paper and compost powder respectively.

The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 267 million people, nearly 30 per cent of India’s adult population, are tobacco users, and butts litter urban streets where general cleanliness standards are abysmally low.

“(So) working here also helps keep our environment clean,” said Poonam, a worker in Gupta’s factory who gave only her first name.

Read more:

India trade deal won’t have everything on services: UK trade minister

India extends free food program by three months amid fiscal challenges

India teacher accused of killing student over a spelling mistake is at large: Police

Top Content Trending