Combating plastic pollution from cigarette butts

The problem

It’s estimated that there are about four trillion cigarette butts already in our oceans, each one leaching toxic chemicals into the water.

Cigarette butts filters are made of cellulose acetate fibres (a plastic) which does not degrade. These fibres, each approximately 20 μm in diameter are packed tightly together. These filters contain toxins such as, carcinogenic chemicals, pesticides, and nicotine which leach into the marine environment and poison microbes, insects and fish or suffocate marine wildlife. 

Partnering with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)



The IET Innovations Awards ceremony took place in November 2019

The KRABB-E uses a claw mechanism, similar to an excavator. 

In the media


Working with the Mairie de Cannes, France, to educate beach-goers about the devastating effect of cigarette ends

With the support of Mairie de Cannes, GreenSeas Trust volunteers gave away free pocket ashtrays and leaflets to highlight the effects of cigarette butts in the sea.

Volunteers explained, cigarette ends left in the sand or carelessly tossed on the beach, upon reaching the sea, release toxic chemicals such as, Acetone, Ammonia, Formaldehyde and Cadmium, the active component in battery acid.

Cigarette butts are the number one item found in coastal clean-ups. GreenSeas Trust wants to eradicate thoughtless disposal of cigarette butts on beaches and in drains through a major awareness campaign. We want smokers to behave responsibly and put their butts in designated bins or pocket ashtrays.

An impression of the event