Are you a smoker? Yes? Then you can be smoothly tagged as a contributor to the stash of 4.3 billion non-biodegradable cigarette butts that are trashed every year on our planet. The gigantic number makes us realize the magnitude of this problem. Guess we don’t need another social networking campaign to gauge that!
The problem stems right from the paper used by some of the companies to roll the cigarette. The paper consists of Butane, Toluene, Nicotine, Acetic Acid, Methanol, Acetone, Cadmium, Arsenic, Benzene, Ammonia and Hexamine to ensure it is burning continuously. And those cigarette filters? Well, they’re made of some type of plastic that takes a minimum of 18 months to even 10 years to just degrade.
Scared much? Well, you should be.
Enter Ved and Chetna, who’s Karma Tips will change the scenarios one tiny step at a time.
Karma Tips is an Indian company which manufactures biodegradable filters that when trashed, grows into plants.
The company uses the basic, patented process of creating pulp out of fruits and vegetables which is then used for creating paper. Since the paper is made just using fruits and vegetables and no chemicals absolutely, it is 100 percent biodegradable. In fact, not even the artificial binding agents are used to make these filters. The seeds of the plants are added during the process and are ensured that they’re protected from the tobacco’s nicotine and heat. A specially designed paper is also used in the process to absorb the tar.
Currently, Karma Tips uses New Zealand Lawn grass, Basil, Spinach and Amaranth seeds that will grow out of the tips. It looks forward to infuse some seeds for carrots, daisies, petunias and a whole range of flowering plants in the near future.
While talking about what triggered them to start Karma Tips, Ved tells it’s the statistics of the toxicity of cigarette that really got them.
“What truly sealed the idea was a trip to the furthest extremes of the Arctic Circle in Greenland, where we discovered cigarette butts everywhere. Even on the Ice Cap! We came upon this idea of special filters designed only for the hand-rolled cigarette that can help fight the littering problem too, globally. We designed the Karma Tips” Ved said.
As of now, Karma Tips is taking baby steps into the small global market of their product. The manufacturing unit is based out of a small village in Mallasandra, 75kms north of Bangalore.
“We chose this place because we felt that giving the women an opportunity to earn and contribute to their family’s earnings may just help this small farming community repay their debts in this drought-ridden part of the state” Ved explains to us.
So smokers, still want to tagged as a debris contributor or do your bit to make the planet little better? For it’s just a matter of making a choice!
Information source: homegrown
Title image source: thegoodnet.org