With the mission of making sustainable, recycled waste materials a norm in the 3D printing industry, Filaret, a newly created startup in Estonia, collects and upcycles cigarette butt waste into a sustainable, compostable and nature friendly 3D printing filament.
To do so, Ines-Issa Villido and Kristina Jacqueline Leon, the founders of Filaret, installed special litter bins on the beaches of the Põhja-Tallinn district to prevent cigarette butts from ending up in the sea. This pilot project will be held during two months.
“Every year, almost 80 tonnes of cigarette filters end up in the environment, which do not decompose and cause the toxic substances to reach the human diet through marine animals. I hope that these special cigarette bins will help to reduce this widespread marine litter,” said Tallinn Deputy Mayor Joosep Vimm. “What makes the project particularly interesting is that, in addition to just collecting the cigarette butts from the beach, they will be upcycled into compostable 3D printing material, thus reducing the problem of plastic waste,” added Josep Vimm.
According to our media colleagues from Tallinn.ee, cigarette butts are one of the most common types of marine litter in the Baltic Sea. In addition to plastic, most of the waste found in the Baltic Sea and in coastal areas is cigarette butts and cigarette filters, which are toxic and non-biodegradable. A single cigarette butt can pollute up to 1,000 litres of water, and toxins released from the filter into the water can persist for up to 10 years, becoming lethal to aquatic life. That’s the reason why the beaches of the Põhja-Tallinn district have been selected on purpose.
As far as manufacturing is concerned, no information has been given on the transformation of these cigarette butts into filament. Furthermore, we do not know if the filament could be used for prototyping or production purpose. Hopefully, these information will be shared at the end of this pilot project by Filaret or one of its partners (the Port of Tallinn and the Tallinn Airport).
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