Karün Eyewear unveils frames made from cigarette butts

Cigarette butts are repurposed into Celion, the foundational material of Karün's forthcoming eyewear collection.
karun eyewear
karun eyewear

Karün is introducing the world's first eyewear frames made from cellulose acetate recovered from cigarette butts—a material called Celion.

From creating eyewear made with recycled fishing nets to implementing full traceability with Blockchain and labeled carbon footprint to each of their products, Karün has directed its focus to one of the most neglected environmental concerns—cigarette butts.

Employing advanced technology from IMEKO, a Chilean cleantech company that collects, processes and recovers the cellulose acetate found in cigarette butts to be completely transformed, these butts are repurposed into Celion, the foundational material of their forthcoming collection. This distinctive chemical process does more than repurpose a discarded substance; it makes a significant contribution to the preservation of the planet's crucial ecosystems, per the brand.

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Pointing out that 5.6 trillion cigarette butts are discarded into the environment each year, which is equivalent to filling 80 Olympic swimming pools every second, the company noted that 1.3 million tons is the total weight of cigarette butts discarded every year and up to 50 liters of water are contaminated by just one cigarette butt. The company said, This represents one of the most toxic forms of ocean plastic pollution. The solution: Repurpose acetate, the main component in cigarette butts (plastic)." 

This new efficient, sustainable and scalable mechanical-chemical process developed by IMEKO, removes the toxicity from the filters and recovers pure cellulose acetate as a new sustainable raw material.

High-quality eyewear is achieved using fashion as a symbol of change. For every ton of Celion, up to 5.6 million cigarette butts are removed.

Celion stands out not just for its origin but also for its exceptional properties, the brand said, including: 

  • Mechanical physical properties.
  • 40% reduction in carbon footprint compared to virgin acetate.
  • Formulated with no toxic additives.
  • Ability to be molded in conventional industrial plastic processes.
  • Versatility in colors and a high level of transparency.
  • Adjustable formula for the development of various products (eyewear frames, jewelry, tools, other high-end plastic items).

Celion material is infinitely recyclable, fostering a circular economy where resources are utilized for as long as possible.

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Crafted from a complex and commonly overlooked waste material, the use of Celion is a symbol of their dedication to creative problem-solving and environmental stewardship. It positions the brand at the forefront of the eyewear industry and establishes them as leaders in sustainable innovation and chemical ingenuity, the company said.

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