‘Living’ ashtray created by Brussels citizen breaks down cigarette butts in only two months
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    ‘Living’ ashtray created by Brussels citizen breaks down cigarette butts in only two months

    The ashtray breaks down a cigarette butt in two months. Credit: PuriFungi/Facebook

    The Brussels citizen Audrey Speyer created a ‘living’ ashtray made from fungi that digest cigarette butts more quickly than nature can.

    The ashtray breaks down a cigarette butt in two months, which is incredibly fast compared to the twenty years it takes nature to do the same thing.

    “One of the bigger models of ashtrays I designed, holds about 200 cigarette butts,” Speyer said, reports Bruzz. “It takes about two to eight weeks for the fungus ashtray to digest everything. In nature, mycelium mostly breaks down cellulose from the wood on which it has planted itself. That same cellulose is also strongly present in cigarette butts,” she added.

    Speyer got the idea of using mycelium, which is the network of all the wires of a fungus, to break down cigarette butts when she was following an innovative materials course in London.

    Speyer started her own company, PuriFungi. “It is important as a means of communication. I hope that people also think of the urgency of the cigarette butt pollution once they get to know my product,” she added.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times