Indian designer Sachi Tungare collected five kilograms of cigarette butts by hand to create her Jugaad collection of multi-coloured bowls and vases.
Presented as part of the Rethinking Plastic programme at Dutch Design Week, the series consists of 10 objects, each made from cellulose acetate derived from 300 cigarette filters.
The aim is to draw attention to the little-known fact that cigarette stubs are the most commonly littered item in the world, with 4.5 trillion of them discarded every year.
“They’re as bad of a problem as plastic straws, if not worse,” Tungare told Dezeen. “They essentially consist of plastic cellulose acetate fibres and a paper wrapper, along with multitudes of harmful toxins and chemicals that get leached into the environment,” she continued.
“These cellulose acetate filters take a long time to degrade and even then, they degrade into microplastic particles that remain in the environment for years and years to come.”
Cellulose, which is derived from wood pulp, is turned into cellulose acetate via a chemical process called acetylation. This is then spun into fibres used to make cigarette filters.
In a bid to give this abundant material a second life, the designer set out to collect the discarded stubs herself while an exchange student at Design Academy Eindhoven. She picked up multiple kilograms of filters from where they had been left on the street.