I can see clearly now the…cigarette butts are gone?

Alright, that’s not how the old song goes. But one company is trying to produce eye glass frames out of an unlikely source: discarded cigarette butts.

Spark904, a Dutch technical consultancy firm, is forming a coalition to try to make use of littered cigarette butts. 98% of cigarette butts have plastic filters made of cellulose acetate, which can also be used to make eye glass frames.

According to Bio Market Insights:

In a circulaire keten project (subsidy scheme of the RVO [the Netherlands Enterprise Agency] ) Spark904 has joined forces with Peukenzee, an organisation that collects cigarette butts and raises awareness around cigarette butts pollution; Dick Moby, the manufacturer of glasses using cellulose acetate and Egmond Plastics, a plastic fabrication company. Spark904 will be in charge of performing lab-scale technological development for recycling cellulose acetate.”

Spark904’s research blog says that while cellulose acetate does degrade naturally, it can take up to 10 years to do so, allowing the other chemicals in cigarettes to contaminate the environment. The blog also claims that approximately 75% of smokers say they have flicked a cigarette butt on the ground or out a car window.

Read the story in Bio Market Insights here.


  • Adam Houser coordinates student leaders as National Director of CFACT's collegians program and writes on issues of climate and energy.