Indian man turns cigarette butts into useful


In a house on the outskirts of India's capital, New Delhi, women sit on the floor, smile and chat as they fill brightly colored teddy bears with white stuffing made from a product commonly found in the trash.

The stuffing is cigarette butts, which have been made into fibres, and are cleaned and bleached after being collected from city streets.

Recycling cigarette butts into other products such as toys and pillows is one of the brainchild of businessman, Naman Gupta.

From inside his factory on the outskirts of the Indian capital, Gupta told Reuters: "We started with 10 grams (of fiber every day), but today we make 1,000 kilograms, and annually we can recycle millions of cigarette butts."

His factory workers also separate the outer layer of cigarette and tobacco butts, which are made into recycled paper and composting powder.

The World Health Organization estimates that the number of smokers in India is estimated at 267 million, or nearly 30% of the adult population in the country, and cigarette butts are littered with the streets of cities that suffer from very low standards of hygiene.

"Working here helps to keep our environment clean," said Poonam, a worker at the Gupta factory, who gave only her first name.

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