Two million cigarette butts have already been given new life, becoming prototypes of eyeglass frames and even umbrella handles. The merit of Re-cig is an innovative startup, located in Rovereto in Progetto Manifattura, which has patented a system that intercepts in special “smokers point”The cigarette butts, stock them and dismember them, separating paper, tobacco and filter.
The filters are then treated and transformed back into cellulose acetate, a plastic product that, when properly worked, promises great things.
The founders of Re-cig are Marco Fimognari and Nicola Bonetti: they do not hide that they are heavy smokers and perhaps for this reason they must have realized how much cigarette butts are a real environmental problem: already in 2010 Enea estimated an annual production of 13,000 tons of cigarette butts that often end up on the street with an average life span ranging from 5 to 12 years.
So, with Re-cig they tried to solve the problem – in reality there is also a CNR project that is working on it – taking charge of the entire passage: collection (to date 500 are the smokers point installed in shopping centers, companies and municipalities, from Trento to Ragusa), storage and recycling of cigarettes.
“We have orders in definition for another 500 collection points that we must carry out by March 2022 – explains Fimognari -. Our work initially started with private companies and now we are managing to forge important collaborations with the public administration. This channel will be the one that will allow us to reach the entire population with our message ”.