Codeefforts: Recycling cigarette butts

CodeEfforts: Recycling cigarette butts for a sustainable eco system

A Chance Encounter

I was traveling back from a family gathering at my in-laws’ place. Mine was a middle seat in a row of three on the airplane, and when I boarded, all three seats were empty, so I settled into the middle one, waiting for my seat-mates. After a while, a young man in casual attire occupied the aisle seat beside me. Initially, I didn’t pay much attention to him. However, as a gesture of polite conversation with a fellow passenger, I made a passing remark, “Do you think the third seat will be taken?”

His response caught me off guard, “The chances are less as the plane is still boarding, but I’m happy to switch to the middle if you prefer the aisle.” It wasn’t just the generosity of his offer that surprised me, but also the sincerity with which he said it. This kind of selflessness was a rare sight in the cramped quarters of an airplane. I thanked him for his kind gesture and declined his offer, then asked if he traveled often.

He mentioned he was returning from an event in Ahmedabad. As our conversation continued, naturally flowing from travel to work, he revealed that he was the founder of a company named CodeEfforts.

The Conversation: Recycling Cigarette butts

As we delved deeper into our conversation, I learned about the unique mission of his company, CodeEfforts, which involves recycling cigarette butts into stationery products. This unusual concept immediately sparked my curiosity. “How do you manage to do that?” I asked, intrigued.

“We collect cigarette butts from all over the country through value bins,” he explained. “These butts are then sent to our facility in Noida, where we’ve employed local village women to segregate the various components. This is crucial for treating them for toxic chemicals before they can be transformed into stationery products.”

“Wow! That’s a lot of cigarette butts,” I remarked, astonished by the scale of their operation.

“Yes, it is,” he replied. “We even have our name in the Limca Book of Records for ‘most cigarette waste collected and recycled in a year.’”

“That’s impressive! Congratulations on the Limca record” I commented. “And not to mention the jobs you are providing while working on such a noble cause, there’ll be heaps of investors and partners that would be interested to work with you.”

He nodded, acknowledging my point. “Yes, there are a few. We’re among the top 10 startups in the VentuRise Global Startup Challenge, and we have clients in some global players in the IT sector. However, due to the lack of government regulation around cigarette waste disposal, a lot is still wanting. Hopefully, it changes soon, and cigarette companies are regulated for the proper handling of cigarette waste.”

“How old are you again?” I asked, amazed by his maturity and vision.

“28,” he replied with a modest smile.

“You sound so much wiser than that,” I remarked.

Curious about the future of CodeEfforts, I inquired, “What’s in the pipeline for CodeEfforts?”

“Our latest product is a carry bag that converts into basil plants when planted. Just tear pieces from the bag, plant them in your garden, and you’ll have basil plants in no time. We’re also exploring sustainable fabric options. But our main goal remains: to rid the world of cigarette waste.”

A Newfound Connection

Our conversation, rich in insights and inspirations, continued unabated until our flight landed. Even as we disembarked, the dialogue lingered, a testament to the engaging and enlightening nature of our encounter. In those final moments at the airport, we exchanged numbers, a small but significant gesture of a newfound connection.

As I walked towards my connecting flight, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of gratitude and admiration. Meeting Naman Gupta, the driving force behind CodeEfforts, was not just an encounter; it was an experience that underscored the impact one individual can have in making a difference. As I boarded my next flight, I carried with me not just the memory of a fascinating conversation but also the inspiration from a young man genuinely dedicated to saving our planet.

Here’s Naman Gupta, taking about CodeEffort at TedX

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