Consumer Products

Published on February 11th, 2014 | by Derek Markham

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Biodegradable Cigarette Butts Could Reduce Smoking Litter

A biodegradable cigarette filter made from all-natural materials could make a huge impact on the amount and type of litter associated with smoking, which is currently quite significant.

It’s estimated that some 5 trillion cigarette butts end up as litter every year, and because most of them are made with synthetic materials that are resistant to degradation, these butts can take up to 15 years to break down in a natural environment.

In fact, a study of 25 years of data on coastal cleanup efforts found that cigarettes and cigarette butts make up over 30% of the litter, which is more than twice as much as any other category of litter. And not only do the butts end up polluting the soil and the water, which has an environmental toll, the cleanup costs for this cigarette litter adds up to quite a bit of money that could be well spent elsewhere.

Aside from convincing every smoker to either quit entirely, or to always dispose of their cigarette butts responsibly, there is really only one other alternative, and that is to make cigarette filters from biodegradable materials that can start to break down in just days, not years.

Greenbutts already has a solution for biodegradable cigarette butts, because their filters are made with a blend of natural materials, including flax, hemp, cotton, and a starch-based binder.

It is hoped that these butts, which will start to be available this year to roll-your-own smokers, will also be used by major cigarette manufacturers, so that the impact of smoking litter can be reduced through being biodegradable instead of lasting for years and years as current mono-acetate filters do.





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About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!



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