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Ovation: Karma Tips.


I detest “butt flickers”. I was a smoker for many years and, during that time, I was as guilty as the next smoker when it came to tossing a cigarette butt out of the window of my car or smashing it underfoot on a sidewalk. Like most smokers, I didn’t give a second thought to the harm that I was doing to the environment.

The filters in most cigarettes (80% of all cigarettes have them) are made of cellulose acetate, a form of plastic that is very slow to degrade in the environment. A typical cigarette butt can take anywhere from eighteen months to ten years to decompose, depending on conditions.

While smoking rates are on the decline in some countries, cigarette smoking remains an addictive habit, and a hugely profitable business worldwide. The filthy obsession probably won’t come to an end any time soon.

Karma Tips are biodegradable filter tips that plant seeds instead of creating litter. Created by ex-advertising representatives Chetana and Ved Roy of Bengaluru, India, the company is trying to minimize the negative environmental effects of smoking.

These cigarette tips are the only filter tip that, when thrown away, re-grows into grass. The paper is 100% organic and contains a highly potent seed called Kikuyu Grass, an East African grass that thrives in parts of the Sahara. It’s one of the most drought-hardy plants known to man and can survive and thrive on ambient air moisture alone. Seeds have been embedded into the organic filter tip so, once finished smoking, the tip is simply thrown away and the weeds will then begin to sprout.

In addition to being better for the environment, the filters are healthier for the smoker because they are not exposed to the chemical-infused paper used by larger tobacco companies.

Certainly, smoking will never be “better for you” than not smoking. And butt flickers will continue to endanger us all every time they toss a burning cigarette into dry grass along a highway, but Karma Tips appear to be a step in the right direction.


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From → Ovations

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