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Some toss the butts and some kick it out

Our country is in a grave danger, the danger of cigarette butts. In India,100 billion cigarette butts are tossed every year on streets, on beaches, and into the wild. The tossed butts choke city’s sanitation system before ending up in the ocean. A single cigarette butt takes 12 years to decompose! In the ocean, it gets into the fish and affects its life. At this crucial juncture, Code Enterprises LLP-India’s first cigarette waste management and recycling firm- was started in 2016 by two young friends Naman Gupta and Vishal Kanet. Till now, this Noida based startup has recycled 4 tonnes of cigarette butts into useful products.

Naman and Vishal during their PG times used to hang out at their friend’s room which was
immensely littered by cigarette butts. On seeing this, they realised that if a PG student’s room can generate this much of cigarette butts, then what about it worldwide! Our honourable People’s President A.P.J.Abdul Khalam once said that dream is something which never lets us sleep. It happened to that two young entrepreneurs and the result was India’s first cigarette waste management and recycling firm.

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Cigarette butts are the most littered piece of waste in the world. Each year 0.85 billion kilos of toxic cigarette waste is generated each year causing high environmental,economic and health costs.Naman, a B.Com student from Delhi University and Vishal, a professional photographer for the Carnival Cruise lines in the USA decided to find a solution to the problem. In September 2015, they devised a chemical process to clean and recycle Cellulose Acetate, the polymer used in cigarette butts. In July next year, they launched Code Enterprise LLP.

Creating Awareness

Code Enterprise started their first operations in Delhi, Noida and Gurugram.Naman and
Vishal gave pamphlets to the people and called at cigarette vendors explaining their work
. The people and the vendors were provided with cigarette collection bins called Vbins for a trimonthly payment of Rs.99 and they also assured Rs.250/kg of cigarette waste.

After awareness when they got into action, they faced many challenges.many of their bins
got stolen and many remain unused. But the duo did not become hopeless and decided to go on with their work along with the vendors who trusted them.

The Process

With a secret chemical composition which is their USP, Naman and Vishal treated these
cigarette butts. The leftover tobacco was converted into organic compost and the paper
covering converted to be used in nurseries and plantations.cushions, garlands, small
stuffed toys, accessories, key chains and many other things were made from recycled
polymer material.

The duo used social media for their promotion and when the words got spread they were put to the limelight by media. Thus they came to be known outside Delhi and now Code
Enterprise has branches in 20 states. There are about 60 associates managing 100 districts across these 20 states. The associates manage and supply the cigarette waste from their assigned districts. In Naman’s words, “We receive almost 300 to 400 kgs of cigarette butts every month, most of which is sent through Indian Railway’s parcel service from remote corners of India”.

Over 5,000 individuals including cigarette vendors, individual smokers, office establishments, and rag pickers generate income from this startup. There are about
10,000 VBins installed across the country and the recycling unit in Noida run by a team of
two employees produce 15-20kg of organic compost powder. Useful artefacts are made from recycled polymer materials.

The future plan of this duo includes making Code Enterprises a profitable institution
by 2020 and develop air purification systems for kitchen chimneys using the polymer
from cigarette butts.


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