These Biodegradable Cigarette Filters Will Grow Into a Tree

How to turn an ugly habit into something wonderful


(Nekrasov Andrey /

Smoking rates are on the decline in many western countries and to help along this positive trend, this company is trying to minimize the negative effects of the people still smoking by selling biodegradable filter tips that plant seeds anytime someone throws out a cigarette butt.

Karma Tips was created by ex-advertising representatives Chetana and Ved Roy of Bengaluru, India. Ved first got the idea for Karma Tips when he was working with a tobacco company and he learned about the list of chemicals found in commercial cigarette papers. The couple, who has worked for dozens of corporate giants in the past, quit their jobs so they could pursue creating low-impact cigarette materials.

Their handmade filters are 100 percent organic, biodegradable, and non-addictive, and are sold alongside a similarly improved book of rolling papers. When disposed of, the butt degrades in a matter of days and gives root to basil, New Zealand lawn grass, rosemary, or thyme.

As an added benefit the filters are healthier for the smoker, because they are not exposed to the chemical-infused paper used by larger tobacco companies.

The Roys also employ roughly two dozen employees – most of which are women – from local villages to help make, package, and distribute Karma Tips. On top of that, all the packaging used for the products are created locally, stimulating small village economies.

“The bags that contain the products are handwoven by a community of local weavers, using organic cotton and locally grown raw material. Even the ink we use for printing is food-grade, non-toxic, and made locally. These small initiatives go a long way in involving local and rural communities in the business, thereby helping them prosper,” Ved told Your Story. “After all, any business that makes only money, we believe, is a bad business.”

To buy your own Karma Tips, or follow the development of the company, check out the product’s Facebook page.

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