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Karün Eyewear Unveils Celion®, a Pioneering Material Made Out from Cigarette Butts

During MIDO 2024, Karün announced a groundbreaking game changer: the world’s first eyewear frames made from cellulose acetate recovered from cigarette butts. A new material called Celion® 

At Karün, innovation is deeply rooted in the pursuit of harmony between humanity and nature. Their team is relentlessly exploring new ways to create products that not only protect the environment but also cater to the needs of users, transforming challenges into opportunities for both ecological and user-centric innovation.

From creating the first eyewear made with recycled fishing nets, to implementing full traceability with Blockchain and labeled carbon footprint to each of their products, Karün has led the way in sustainable innovation in the industry since 2012.

This mindset has directed their focus today to one of the most neglected environmental concerns: cigarette butts.

Typically disregarded and rarely recycled, cigarette butts have spurred Karün’s latest innovative leap. 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 our planet’s crucial ecosystems.

The Problem?

  • 5.6 trillion cigarette butts are discarded into the environment each year. That’s equivalent to filling 80 Olympic swimming pools every second.
  • 1.3 million tons is the total weight of cigarette butts discarded every year.
  • Up to 50 liters of water are contaminated by just one cigarette butt.
  • 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:

  • Exceptional 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.

Together with IMEKO, Karün once again showcases the crucial importance of looking at the world from a different point of view. This perspective enables them to continuously transform what was once considered waste into beautiful high quality products that generate a positive impact on our planet.

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.

Click HERE for the full press release.

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