This study reports a one-pot and eco-friendly method for the synthesis of spherical ibuprofen derived silver nanoparticles (IBU-AgNPs) in aqueous media using ibuprofen analgesics drug as capping as well as reducing agent. Formation of AgNPs occurred within a few min (less than 5 min) at room temperature without resorting to any harsh conditions and hazardous organic solvents. Synthesized AgNPs were characterized with common analytical techniques. Transmission electron microscope (TEM) images confirmed the formation of spherical particles having a size distribution in the range of 12.5 +/- 1.5 nm. Employment of IBU analgesic aided the control of better size distribution and prevented agglomeration of particles. Such AgNPs solution was highly stable for more than two months when stored at ambient temperature. The IBU-AgNPs solution showed excellent ultra-rapid catalytic activity for the complete degradation of toxic 4-nitrophenol (4-NPh) into non-toxic 4-aminophenol (4-APh) within 40 s. AgNPs were recovered with the help of water insoluble-room temperature ionic liquid and reused with enhanced catalytic potential. This method provides a novel, rapid and economical alternative for the treatment of toxic organic pollutants to maintain water quality and environmental safety against water pollution. It is extendable for the control of other reducible contaminants in water as well. Furthermore, this catalytic activity for an effective degradation of organic toxins is expected to play a crucial role for achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 6 set by United Nations. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.