Innovation That Matters

Biodegradable cigarette filters feature sproutable plant seeds

Exacerbated by the increasing prevalence of indoor smoking bans, cigarette butt litter is on the rise, with an estimated 4.5 trillion cigarette butts becoming litter every year worldwide. Aiming to counter the impact littered cigarettes have on the environment, Greenbutts have developed an all-natural, biodegradable cigarette filter that, when placed under a thin layer of soil, will sprout a plant. Using patent-pending technology, Greenbutts are made from natural de-gummed hemp and organic cotton, bound with wheat flour and water. The filters can be combined with a variety of seeds, transforming them into plantable cigarette butts that will sprout grasses, flowers, fruits, herbs or trees. Traditional cigarette filters made from cellulose acetate can take up to 15 years to break down, according to Greenbutts. The San Diego-based firm hopes to put an end to this and is currently seeking investors and partners to do so on a global scale. One to partner with to provide an eco-friendlier choice for the one billion tobacco smokers worldwide? It won’t make them healthier, but at least the rest of us will benefit. (Related: Boxes made of cardboard laden with seedsGreeting card folds out into a living gardenGum recycling bins.) Spotted by: Cecilia Biemann



Download PDF