Japanese students recycle cigarette butts into T-shirts

A small group of Japanese students has invented a way of turning cigarette butts into T-shirts. The unusual recycling project involves the students collecting old cigarette butts from outlets such as local pachinko parlours and gas stations. And, after employing a technique developed by scientists to reduce harmful toxins, the threads are then woven into a fabric before being used to make T-shirts, the ‘Asahi Shimbun‘ newspaper reported.

Ashtray With Cigarette

Burning cigarette in an ashtray

In fact, the idea was the brainchild of Shinji Sawai, 21, a student at College of Economics of Ritsumeikan University, who was inspired by the quantities of butts he saw every day at his local station while commuting.

Sawai subsequently formed a group called AOI with other university students devoted to recycling the cigarette butts obtained from overflowing ashtrays in local outlets.

The technology required to eliminate toxins from the butts came about as a result of a collaboration with a professor at the Kyoto Institute of Technology.

A number of companies in Osaka and Wakayama regions have also become involved in spinning and weaving the threads into a fabric, of which around 30 per cent is directly from the butts, ‘The Daily Telegraph‘ reported.

The end result is a fabric which is well-ventilated and highly absorbent with a slightly uneven surface and varying thickness levels, Sawai was quoted as telling the leading Japanese newspaper.

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