Many don’t realise that cigarette butts are plastic and greatly contribute to our world’s plastic pollution problem. Aware of this issue, a local company has taken up the challenge of reducing litter caused by discarded cigarette butts by creating a completely biodegradable cigarette.

Cape Town’s own Smokey Treats’ cigarettes and cigarette boxes are 100% biodegradable, making use of unbleached wood-pulp and chlorine free cigarette paper, with no artificial additives.

The box contains no metals, is non-toxic and is made from a renewable soy source.

These changes won’t curb people’s smoking habits of course, but it is the first step to solving the butterfly effect caused by smokers who discard cigarette butts without a second thought.

Millions of people around the world are smokers, and over 2-million cigarette butts are littered around the world every minute. One in 10 of those makes their way to the ocean or another body of water, 65% of all butts are littered and 5-trillion cigarettes are purchased worldwide each year.

In South Africa alone, 26-billion cigarettes are sold each year, that’s 1.3-billion boxes, more than half of which are casually thrown to the ground after use.

All of these discarded cigarettes are made from plastic and do not biodegrade over time, instead UV rays breaks the filters into smaller pieces over a two to 15 years.

The effect that these filters have on our environment is made worse by the toxic residue left on them by tobacco and bleaches.

Founders Davide Scott and Adam van Wyngaarden

Smokey Treats is also dedicating 1% of all profits to planting trees in the hopes that they can plant millions across South Africa.

Learn more about this local eco-conscious creation here.

Pictures: Facebook/Smokey Treats

Article written by

Aimee Pace

Aimee is an avid gamer, enthusiastic yogi and animal lover. Addicted to anime, coffee and plant-based meals. Current favourite pastimes include, sewing and learning Japanese.