Homemade Biodegradable Cigarette Filter as a Solution to the Global Problem

Photo: BioFilter

There is an expression “the children of today are the adults of tomorrow,” and the tricky students of the High School Dušan Trivunac Dragoš from Svrljig, happen to prove it is not just another platitude. These young people decided to tackle waste which we often leave behind in nature and public areas. In fact, they gave a good try to solve the problem of one specific kind of waste. We talk about the most minor and most widespread garbage, which is also the hardest to remove.

If you guess was cigarette butts, you were right. No matter where you go, you will find at least one cigarette butt. More than 75  percent of smokers worldwide throw out cigarette butts in rivers, parks, streets, and beaches, but a few only know that these miniature enemies of nature will remain there for another 25 years.

In most cases, it is the question of true negligence, although some smokers are deluded by the idea that all cigarette filters are biodegradable. It might seem they are made of cotton, but actually, they are made of plastic fibers that make them fall within the biggest source of pollution.

Since little attention is paid to this world’s problem, students from Svrljig found the solution and presented the invention which can literally save the planet.

Evan cigarette butt can turn green

It is about the biodegradable cigarette butt, which contains a plant seed. The patent called BioFilter is made of unbleached cellulose, and four plant types can sprout from these stubs: clover, grass, chia, and basil. However, in six months, what once was a stub is nowhere to be found, while it serves to seed as a water reservoir until the plant gets rooted in soil.

Even if not every seed sprouts, one thing is sure – every cigarette filter will soon be disintegrated. At the BioFilter company, students have distributed the tasks to develop the idea further and create a final product. Thanks to their revolutionary invention, they appeared at the regional competition for student innovations. They managed to show how much BioFilter is crucial for our environment, so they entered the national finals.

The students confirm that people are amazed, finding it hard to believe that high school students are capable of coming up with this kind of invention. They are all astounded. This way, the students describe the positive response, which was inevitable. It suffices to say how damaging cigarette smoke is to health. Almost 70  percent of chemicals in cigarettes are carcinogenic, and some estimations confirm that smoking is a cause of 15 percent of death cases a year. Unfortunately, the student team can’t address this problem.

Photo: BioFilter

“If this is the way things are, with people throwing out stubs with great frequency, then we want to reduce the pollution to a minimum”, that is the message coming from the team. The stubs are toxic, chiefly for animals that happen to swallow them by accident.

Moreover, since stubs contain arsenic and other harmful chemicals, their accumulation in large amounts can put biodiversity at risk and pollute water and soil to a large extent.

Those who roll cigarettes by hand soon could get a chance to use BioFilter. As it has become something to talk about, there is a hope that world companies will recognize the significance of this innovation and include it in their assortment. Since the innovators are still high school students, the possibility of getting the product patented isn’t available. But, who could tell? Maybe in the upcoming years, they might get it done. The good spirit is something they have, as much as the consciousness of numerous benefits of their invention.

Prepared by: Milena Maglovski

Read the story in the new issue of the Energy portal Magazine WATER RESOURCES.