Saturday, 12 November 2011

Cigarette butts recycled: t-shirts and anti-corrosion chemicals

Shinji Sawai holds a T-shirt made from recycled cigarette butts. (The Asahi Shimbun)
T-shirt made from fabric containing 30 per cent cigarette butts (Asia Japan Watch)
The t-shirts are a new story, but they have already been displayed on the catwalks in Kyoto. Students realised the potential of the many discarded butts lying around, and found ways to remove the toxins in order to produce a viable product in a fabric comprising 30 per cent cigarette butts. Local companies were employed to do the spinning and make the garments. The story is in today's Telegraph.

The use of chemicals from butts in oil industry applications was reported last year in the BBC and also here: Chinese scientists discovered properties in the chemicals that would protect steel from corrosion (includes some comments.

Interesting that novel, innovative and resourceful ideas come from the Far East, whereas from the US we get this – a US study that the British Medical Journal just had to print. The study is funded by the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program: This is their page on environmental pollution, third hand smoke and tobacco related litter. The amount of money these people have to spend on anti-tobacco research is dizzying.

This report's conclusion:
The best solution to the cigarette butt waste problem is for smokers to quit, whether for reasons of their own health, the health of others, or the health of the environment where more than 5 trillion cigarette butts are deposited each year. At a minimum, however, the economic and administrative burdens of cigarette butt waste should be taken off state and local government agencies and taxpayers, and, following the principles of product stewardship and extended product responsibility, tobacco manufacturers should shoulder the entire financial burden for the collection, transportation and safe disposal of cigarette butt waste. The next best solution is to adopt a comprehensive Maine-style product stewardship law covering cigarette butt waste.
Anything but acknowledge that the tobacco-related waste might serve a useful purpose.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In order to properly collect all these spent cig ends, wouldn't the most efficient system be to place ashtrays indoors in key places where people are most likely to want to smoke - and then they can all be rounded up most efficiently and sent away for recycling into clothe. It makes the most sense to my way of thinking, if I were in charge of the recycling program.