Re-Cig: The innovative start-up that recycles cigarette butts!

Marco Fimognari and Nicola Bonetti, are the founders of Re-Cig © Trentino Sviluppo, an innovative Italian startup, founded in Trento in 2019 and inspired by the principles of circular economy.

The two young entrepreneurs have in fact developed a business that combines environmental and economic sustainability, giving value to polluting waste.

Not only that, the startup’s goal is also to educate and raise awareness about the dispersion of cigarette butts in the environment.

Re-Cig allows its customers, whether private or public, to reduce the amount of undifferentiated waste through the installation of ashtrays, the “smokers points”, providing a service of cleaning, collection and disposal of cigarette butts.


Specifically, this start-up has patented a system for transforming cigarette butts into a virgin material that can be used to produce new objects thanks to an upcycling process.

Cigarette butts are recovered and treated by separating each part, i.e. paper, tobacco and filter, and the latter is transformed into cellulose acetate from which various types of plastic products are obtained. 

This process can be used to produce spectacle frames and umbrella handles as well as mobile phone covers and pens. 

Some statistics

About 6 trillion cigarettes are produced annually and cigarette butts are the waste that is dispersed into the environment more than any other, releasing not only plastic but also many other polluting chemical substances.

It is estimated that 13 thousand tonnes of cigarette butts are thrown away every year in Italy. 

Re-cig has so far recovered and reused about 2 million cigarette butts. 


A reality in continuous expansion, as Marco Fimognari reminds us:

"Our company immediately started offering the service throughout Italy thanks to the first contract stipulated with a company present throughout the country. To date we have more than 500 installations and we have orders in the pipeline for another 500 by March 2022. Our work started with private companies and now we are slowly managing to establish important partnerships with the public administration. This channel will enable us to reach the entire population with our message".

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