Could We Build Homes With Cigarette Butts?

Finally a use for the most loathed litter on the planet.

You've probably lamented the presence of cigarette butts sometime in your life. Whether they invaded your beach spot, your sidewalk or even your backyard - they are simply the worst, most useless piece of garbage in existence.

Fortunately, an Australian scientist claims to have found an amazingly practical new use for discarded ciggie butts. 

RMIT University professor, Dr Abbas Mohajerani, has invented a machine to turn cigarette butts into bricks. 

Just as other recycled garbage has become practical for builders - so will cigarettes, Dr Abbas claims.

According to Triple J's Hack program, 6 trillion cigarettes are smoked every year, worldwide. In Australia, we smoke about 30 billion cigarettes yearly, of which 7 billion are discarded as litter - mostly, ending up in our waterways. 

Dr Abbas' plan could help significantly reduce this waste and its effect on the environment - as well as making usable products.

According to Triple J, this is how it will work:

"[Dr Abbas] and his team found that adding a tiny amount of cigarette butts to the clay mix halved the energy needed to fire bricks, and also improved their insulation properties.

"Only a very small proportion of the brick is cigarette butts - about 1 per cent. But because we produce so many bricks per year, even if only 2.5 per cent of the world's annual brick production incorporated 1 per cent cigarette butts, there would be no cigarette butt pollution." 

Apparently, the main struggle will be collecting enough butts to make the bricks on an industrial scale. 

So the only question that remains is: Could you make your home out of cigarette butts?

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