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This Enterprise Is Recycling India’s Most littered Item, Cigarette Butts

Every year more than 100 billion cigarette butts get dumped in the landfills of India. It's a lesser known fact that the cigarette filter is made of cellulose acetate, a kind of non-biodegradable plastic and it takes almost 10 years for this ingredient to completely decompose. So cigarette waste is not only injurious to health but it also poses a great threat to the environment. To fight against India's most littered item, two entrepreneurs Naman Gupta and Vishal Kanet started a company named 'CODE', which offers a one time recycling solution to this waste.

Meet Naman Gupta and Vishal Kanet - swachh warriors who are recycling cigarette waste right from the filter and paper to ash and tobacco.

Naman and Vishal's company 'CODE' is based in National Capital Region, Noida and was launched in 2016. They collect cigarette butts from the waste generators like customers' house, ragpickers and shopkeepers who sell it and recycle it.

Code provides user collection units called VBins to the customers in which they can collect cigarette waste. After every 15 days the company's garbage collector will go to the waste generator's location and collect the garbage.

Once the cigarette waste is collected, it is split up - the tobacco which is often left behind and the paper covering the cigarette butt are decomposed and left to yield manure, the filter is recycled by a treatment process innovated by Vishal.

The procured manure are often sold to the gardeners and the treated filters which are 99.9% safe are used in making the stuffing for toys and cushions, and other packaging materials.

When they started the service of collecting and recycling cigarette butts, very few people were interested in cooperating with their initiative, primary reason being - lack of education and ignorance. To lure people into giving away the cigarette trash, they started paying their customers some amount of money in return of the garbage they collect from them. The company pays Rs. 700 for every kilogram and Rs. 80 for every 100 grams of cigarette waste.

So far the duo has successfully collected 500-600 kilograms of cigarette waste and recycled 40-50 kgs.

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