VBins – India’s First Cigarette Waste Management and Recycling firm

With the growing rate of population, there are lots and lots of waste generated every day. Recently the government announced the ban on the use of plastics. If this decision would have been taken many years before, our environment would have been much more clean and hygienic. India produces almost 42 million tons of solid waste per year but still we find garbage in many places. Government is adopting various measures to avoid waste and many methods to recycle waste. These wastes leads to pollution which causes various diseases amongst people and degrades the environment.

In India, we have lots of smokers from children as small as 12 years to old aged people. Consumption of tobacco is increasing day by day. Smoking is the second largest factor for early death and disabilities. Almost 5,500 youths in India consume tobacco via smoking. Females are also not lagging in this race. Around 25% females in India consume tobacco from the age of 15. India comes on 4thposition in the list of number of deaths due to tobacco. India has around 11.2 % of smokers. USA, China, Russia are on top of the list before India.

So as to deal with the waste, one of the startup named “Code Enterprises” in Noida, Delhi has started recycling cigarette butts. The owner of Code Enterprises are Naman Gupta and Vishal Kanet. However, you will be surprised to know that they will pay you to give them cigarette butts. The company was started in 2016 and has reached almost 20 states till today. One day both Naman and Vishal went to friend’s bachelor party and they found lots of cigarette stubs and that was the time they decided of doing a business of recycling cigarette stubs. Many people think that cigarette butts are made of cotton but it is actually plastic. Naman and Vishal experimented stubs with many severe chemicals and then in December 2015 they finally got the positive results. In July 2016, Code Enterprises was established. As they launched the company, they already had almost 60 customers in Delhi and NCR.

How they recycle cigarette stubs ?

The company undergoes two recycling process- 1. Cigarette ash and 2. Cigarette stub. Paper of cigarette butt and the tobacco are converted into manure which can be used in agricultural and gardening. Cigarette ash are used to make bricks. The plastic inside the stub is treated with various chemicals and is used as stuffing in cushions, toys, bags, etc. Till now the company has made lots of manure which can be used in agriculture.

How they collected cigarette stubs?

The collection of stubs and ashes is very simple and convenient for both the consumers and the company. The company provide them with the dustbins named as “VBins” in which cigarette butts are collected. The consumer and cigarette vendors are issued with the VBins on subscription basis. The subscription fee for consumer is Rs 99 & cigarette vendors is Rs 199 per year. The consumers and vendors returned the cigarette stubs to the company for Rs 700/ kg. They pay 20 paise for one cigarette stub which generally comes out to be 250 per kg of cigarettes buts. The company did not get any response in the starting 4 to 6 months whereas very few people appreciated the company for doing this work. The company then started promoting their startup on social media and newspapers. The company got response from many people outside Delhi who wanted to do partnership with them.

Pan India Level

The code enterprises now have over 60 associates in 100 districts over 20 states. These associates are working on contractual basis with the company. The associates send cigarette stubs from their district to the company. The company receives 300-400 kgs of cigarettes stubs every month. The company makes 15 to 20 kg of organic compost powder every month. Past 1.5 years, the company has recycled around 4tons of stubs.

Editor: Anuj Gupta

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