Reducing carbon footprint is imperative now more than ever. The world over, special initiatives are being undertaken to conserve energy, reduce the harvesting of raw materials, minimising greenhouse gases and cutting down pollution and more.
Rising concerns over global warming and rapidly depleting natural resources are encouraging humans to live judiciously and come up with inventive ways to combat the various environmental concerns. Individuals and organisations are coming up with innovative ways to preserve natural resources, nurture healthy living as well as maintain a clean environment.
For 28-year-old Naman Gupta, the sight of cigarette butts accumulating in his hometown Noida was his moment of epiphany in 2018. Gupta’s curiosity about the afterlife of cigarettes blossomed into something truly unique. Fast forward to 2022, Gupta now heads a company – Code Effort – which makes soft toys from recycled cigarette butts.
Naman Gupta, Founder of Code Effort Pvt. Ltd.
“In 2018, I became curious after I saw cigarette butts accumulating in my city Noida. This led me to develop an end-to-end solution to recycle cigarette butts into multiple products such as toys, decor accessories, and more,” says Gupta, who set up the firm with his elder brother Vipul.
Earlier this month, a video from Code Effort went viral. The Instagram reel, which shows the process of accumulating cigarette butts and transforming them into soft toys and pillows, has clocked over 3 lakh views.
Slow To Decompose
Cigarette butts or filters look like white cotton but are made of plastic fibers, essentially cellulose acetate and could take up to 10 years to decompose. However, when they decompose, they turn more toxic and pollute the environment. Considering that only one out of every three cigarette butts makes it to the dustbin, it becomes all the more important to manage the cigarette butt waste.
The use of tobacco has led to several chronic diseases such as cancer, lung disease, and other cardiovascular diseases. According to the World Health Organisation, India reports nearly 1.35 million deaths related to the use of tobacco each year.
1.2 Billion Cigarettes And Counting
Code Effort has recycled over 1.2 billion cigarette butts into various products since its inception. While many organisations are actively pursuing their sustainability goals, Gupta’s company uses a two-pronged approach – creating awareness about the perils of smoking and raising environmental concerns – to drive home the message.
When asked what motivated him to take this unusual yet striking approach, Gupta said, “Merely stating smoking is injurious is pointless. With my involvement in building cigarette waste management and recycling, I can confidently say that cigarettes are not only injurious to human health but they are also lethal to the planet’s health.” Along with Noida, the company also operates a cigarette butts collection service in Delhi and Gurugram.
According to the 28-year-old entrepreneur, clean living and sustainability are essentially related to one’s mindset. If one fosters these notions in their life, it will have positive ramifications. Gupta strongly believes that to conserve the depleting environment ‘effort’ is vital.
Taking care of the planet begins with self-awareness. Being judicious in your ways is ideal, as individual action of a billion can be truly game-changing.