327: Bricks from cigarette butts


Over 6 trillion cigarettes are produced each year globally, resulting in 1.2 million tonnes of toxic waste dumped into the environment.


Bricks made from recycled cigarette butts

Abbas Mohajerani and Aeslina A. Kadir at RMIT have come up with a solution whereby fired-clay bricks with 1% recycled cigarette butt content are as strong as normal bricks and use less energy to produce. Their analysis showed if just 2.5% of global annual brick production incorporated 1% cigarette butts, this would offset total cigarette production each year.

The research team has also developed a detailed plan for bringing the brickmaking and waste management industries together, to implement cigarette butt recycling into bricks at mass scale. The plan, published in a special issue of the journal Construction Materials, details how cigarette butts can be collected and recycled on an industrial scale.

Different incorporation methods are outlined – using whole butts, pre-shredded butts, or a pre-mix where the butts have already been incorporated into other brickmaking materials.

Discover Solution 328: Rotting Veg

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