80) IDEO – use waste for good


 wēi danger

“Each year more than 1 billion pieces of litter will accumulate on Texas highways. Of those, 13% are cigarette butts. That means 130 million butts will be tossed out in Texas alone this year.”  –Texas Department of Transportation.

In fact, several trillion cigarette butts are littered worldwide every year. Billions are flicked, one at a time, on our sidewalks, beaches, nature trails, gardens, and other public places every day. And, cigarette filters are made of cellulose acetate tow, rather than cotton, which can take decades to degrade. Not only does cigarette litter ruin even the most picturesque setting, but the toxic residue in cigarette filters is truly damaging to the environment. However it’s notoriously difficult to get smokers to stop smoking and change their behaviour, surely this pollution is inevitable?

 jī opportunity

My colleague Ben in London looked at this problem and instead asked how this problem might be reframed as an opportunity.  What if this nasty habit could contribute to, rather than subtract from, the beauty of outdoor spaces? His design for Cigg Seeds aims to do precisely that. He imagines cigarettes outfitted with biodegradable filters that contain wild flower seeds, they sprout and blossom into wildflower meadows when finished and flicked, or deposited on the ground.

TL;DR / How About…

  • Looking at the greatest points of waste in your value chain, how might it be reused or harnessed for good rather than simply eliminated?