Yann Hamon 4:06 p.m., June 01, 2022

With its Future Trophies, Europe 1 rewards companies, associations or local authorities each year for their audacity, their innovation and their visionary side.

In the running for the Environment Trophy in partnership with Derichebourg, Tchao Mégot: the collection, depollution and ecological recycling of cigarette butts into materials. 

Collect, clean up, recycle.

This is the objective of TchaoMegot, a start-up launched in 2019 during an end-of-study internship.

It recycles cigarette butts into an insulating material, which is depolluted and reused in construction or for stuffing down jackets. 

5 to 10 tons per year 

The French start-up has ambition: "We have invested in a pilot machine which will process almost 5 to 10 tonnes of waste per year".

The next step is "to invest 5 million euros in the acquisition of industrial machinery and to be able to triple the teams to go and educate as many people as possible so that they no longer throw cigarette butts on the ground".

In this way, TchaoMegot will be able to collect several hundred tons of cigarette butts a year. 

Labeled GreenTech Innovation by the Ministry of Ecological Transition  

Julien Paque, co-founder of TchaoMegot, details the essential stage of depollution: "We are going to clean up the waste ecologically, which will allow us to recover 99.7% of the clean fiber and 0.3% of the toxic concentrates in a small flask.

We manage to extract the toxicity of the fiber without using water or toxic solvent". There is no longer any odor or toxicity, which allowed the GreenTech Innovation label in 2021, by the Ministry of Transition A determining recognition from the State for this French innovation.