Civic monitoring report

Sent on 3/03/2024 | By SMOKING GLASSES | @GlassesSmoking

What we found out

Project objectives

The "OScAR - Cigarette Butt Glasses" project aims to extract cellulose acetate from the filters of exhausted cigarettes to produce sheets of recovered cellulose acetate, usable for the production of eyeglass frames. This project is important because it offers an innovative solution to recycle cigarette butts, thus reducing the negative environmental impact they represent. The main objectives of the project are the creation of a new material composed of cellulose acetate recovered from cigarette butts, which can guarantee optimal performance and adapt to the Made in Italy eyewear industry. Furthermore, the initiative aims to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and the need to combat the problem of waste derived from cigarettes that can severely damage the ecosystem.

Foreseen activities

The OSCAR project was initiated on November 26, 2018, and concluded on May 25, 2020, and was characterized by a series of activities aimed at environmental awareness and the implementation of concrete solutions to address a specific issue: the proper disposal of cigarette butts, with the aim of reducing environmental pollution and promoting the circular economy. The first phase involved the design and implementation of an informational campaign. During this phase, an informational campaign was designed and implemented to disseminate knowledge of the OSCAR project to the citizens of the municipality of Ariano Irpino (AV). The main purpose was to inform the community about the environmental, technological, and economic implications of the project. Clear and concise informational material was created, illustrating the OSCAR project and its objective of transforming environmentally harmful waste into innovative material. The second phase involved the installation of cigarette butt receptacles. Special receptacles for collecting cigarette butts were installed at 8 pilot commercial establishments in Ariano Irpino (AV). The selection of these establishments was based on their traffic and the problematic presence of abandoned filters nearby. The receptacles were designed and positioned in compliance with Article 40 paragraph a) of Law No. 221/2015 of December 28, 2015. The third phase involved defining the management modalities of the receptacles. In collaboration with the managers of the pilot activities, the most appropriate modalities for emptying the receptacles, temporary storage in special containers, and periodic collection by personnel from ESSEQUADRO SRL were defined. Subsequently, the collected cigarette butts were sent to the CeERICT IPCB laboratories for the treatment and recycling activities outlined in the project. The activities carried out within the framework of the OSCAR project have contributed to raising awareness among the local community about the importance of proper management of cigarette waste and have introduced concrete solutions to address this issue, while promoting principles of environmental sustainability and the circular economy.

Project origin

The project was initiated within the context of the Regional Operational Programme European Regional Development Fund (ROP ERDF) Campania 2014/2020 - Project: Oscar - cigarette glasses - CUP: B93D18000310007 - It was admitted to funding under the notice "support for Campania companies in the realization of feasibility studies (Phase 1) and technology transfer projects (Phase 2) consistent with RIS2". The project obtained funding through Directorial Decree No. 591 of 29/10/2018 from the Campania Region, UOD 50.10.05 "Innovative Start-Ups and Digital Economy", in accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 651/2014.
Entities involved: Project Partners and Executing Entities ESSEQUADRO s.r.l and CeRICT - Regional Information and Communication Technology Center s.c.r.l.


The Oscar Project is an innovative initiative aimed at transforming cigarette butts into eyeglass frames, promoting environmental sustainability and reducing harmful waste. The project not only addresses the problem of pollution caused by cigarette butts, which are one of the main sources of toxic waste worldwide, but also offers opportunities for recycling and reuse, promoting environmental and social sustainability, and circular economy principles.
The ultimate beneficiary of the project is the general public because "Oscar" helps reduce environmental pollution and promotes greater awareness of waste management. Additionally, those who use public services such as parks, roads, and beaches benefit from the reduced environmental impact caused by the decrease in cigarette butts. By reducing the number of cigarette butts scattered in the environment, air, water, and soil quality could be improved, leading to significant public health benefits.
Involving local communities in cigarette butt collection can promote environmental awareness and civic engagement, fostering a sense of belonging and collaboration. The project not only brings health and environmental sustainability benefits but also economic benefits, as transforming cigarette butts into eyeglass frames could create new economic opportunities. This includes job creation in collection and recycling, as well as benefits for eyewear companies that could benefit from a new source of recycled materials at lower costs, reducing production costs and contributing to their eco-friendly corporate image. At the same time, those who use glasses would also benefit from the opportunity to purchase more sustainable and responsible products.


Ariano Irpino is a town located inland in the Campania region, characterized by a strong territorial identity and an active and hardworking community. However, like many other urban areas, Ariano Irpino faces challenges related to waste management, including the proper disposal of cigarette butts, which often pose a significant environmental problem. The area could benefit from initiatives aimed at promoting environmental sustainability, reducing the negative impact of waste on the local environment, and improving the quality of life for residents. Projects like Project Oscar could contribute to the economic development of the area by creating job opportunities and stimulating innovation in the recycling and sustainability sector. Transforming cigarette butts into eyeglass frames offers opportunities for the development of a sustainable and circular economy in the region. This could help promote local employment and diversify sources of income, representing a concrete opportunity to promote economic and social development in inland areas and counteract depopulation. The Project Oscar model could be replicated or extended to other urban areas facing similar waste management and environmental sustainability issues. The innovative approach and replicable nature of the project make it suitable for addressing local public priorities and strategies, and its potential for extension to other areas confirms its importance and relevance at the regional, national, and even international levels.


Based on information gathered from various sources, including interviews, monitoring visits, and official documents, the current status of the "Oscar" project appears to have concluded since 2020. This information is derived from documents confirming payments and the completion of the project, as reported by the "OpenCoesione" platform.


The Oscar project has achieved significant and relevant results, especially for the environment and the industry. Based on information gathered from various sources, including interviews conducted within the company and our monitoring visit, we have learned that Essequadro has obtained the patent for "Cigarette Glasses," which represents a significant success for the company and demonstrates the originality and innovation of their work.
The creation of a patented process to utilize waste from cigarette butts in industrial acetate production is a major step forward. This not only demonstrates the technical feasibility of effectively using cigarette waste but also addresses the issue of cigarette butts, which are one of the most common and harmful types of waste in the environment. By using such waste as raw material for acetate production, the company actively contributes to reducing the overall amount of waste and recovering valuable resources. Furthermore, the produced acetate could be used in various industrial applications, offering a sustainable and more eco-friendly alternative to traditional acetate. This not only reduces the environmental impact of industrial production but could also open up new business and market opportunities.


Perhaps the main negative aspects of the project lie in the lack of adequate legislation, as currently there is no legislation that considers cigarette butts as hazardous waste, but rather treats them as waste to be disposed of in general waste. This means that there are no specific directives for the management and treatment of this type of waste, making it more difficult for collection and recycling. This legislative gap could limit the effective collection and treatment of this type of waste. Furthermore, the fact that the project must rely primarily on self-initiatives, without adequate regulatory support, could represent a significant weakness.


Several positive aspects of the Oscar project emerged during our monitoring. Firstly, the project allowed us to get a close look at a growing reality in our territory, such as Essequadro, highlighting that even in small inland areas, there is potential for resources and skills to be valued.
One of the most important aspects of the project that impressed us is its positive impact on the environment. Using cigarette butts as raw material to produce acetate not only reduces waste but also promotes more sustainable practices within the industry. Therefore, the ability to turn an environmental problem into an innovation opportunity is a key point of the project. The creative approach and technological research demonstrate a commitment to finding concrete solutions to complex challenges, opening up new economic prospects for both the company involved in the project and the local community. This can lead to new job opportunities and sustainable economic growth.
Moreover, the project has raised awareness among us young people and, consequently, among families, friends, students at our school, and beyond, about the importance of recycling for safeguarding the environment and our territory, directing us towards a cultural change towards more responsible practices.
There are many positive aspects of the Oscar project, ranging from local involvement to environmental sustainability and innovation, making it a successful example that even local initiatives can have a significant impact on global challenges.


Future risks for the Oscar project could arise from sudden changes in environmental regulations that might negatively impact the project's effectiveness. For instance, if the need to treat cigarette butts as specific waste is not recognized, it could become more challenging to garner necessary support for collection and recycling. Another risk could be linked to consumer awareness, whereby consumers might not understand or appreciate the value of products made from cigarette butts, thus reducing demand or resisting the adoption of such products, thereby affecting the project's long-term sustainability. Another factor to consider is the change in consumer habits. For example, a decline in cigarette usage or an increase in alternatives such as electronic cigarettes could decrease the quantity of cigarette butts available for recycling, thereby threatening the project's sustainability.

Ideas and solutions

To enhance the effectiveness of the Oscar project and ensure the achievement of its ultimate goals, several actions could be considered. Supporting public awareness campaigns to inform the community about the importance of recycling cigarette butts and the negative environmental consequences of their improper disposal would be crucial. It would also be important to develop greater institutional collaborations. Working closely with local and regional authorities to develop policies and regulations that promote the recycling of cigarette butts could be beneficial. This could include the introduction of tax incentives for businesses participating in the project and the creation of dedicated infrastructure for the collection and treatment of cigarette butts.
Financial incentives could also be introduced to encourage consumers to actively participate in the cigarette butt recycling program, such as offering discounts on products or services in exchange for returning cigarette butts. Certainly, expanding the networks for collecting cigarette butts to cover a wider area and reach more people could be beneficial. This could involve collaboration with local organizations, businesses, and institutions to install dedicated bins in public and commercial locations. Furthermore, involving tobacco companies in funding and promoting the project could be beneficial, for example, through voluntary contributions or corporate social responsibility programs.

Results and Impact of the monitoring

Dissemination of results

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Territorial events organised by the teams
  • Team blog / website
  • Media interviews


  • Televisione, Canale58
  • Istituzionale, Università
  • Istituzionale, Istituto Nazionale di ricerca
  • Istituzionale, Europe Direct Salerno (sportello Commissione europea)
  • Associazione ambientale, Associazione di volontariato
  • Società a responsabilità limitata, Impresa Privata

Contacts with media outlets

  • Local TV
  • Blog or other online news outlet

Contatti con le Pubbliche Amministrazioni per discutere i risultati del Monitoraggio

We did not reach out to public administration

Description of the case

Looking to the future, the company is committed to expanding the project through partnerships and applied research projects, involving other research centers throughout the national territory. This suggests a collaborative and multidisciplinary approach to tackling the challenge of microplastics and developing innovative and sustainable solutions. The project's expansion could lead to further discoveries and developments, contributing to environmental protection and creating new opportunities in the field of sustainable research and development. Throughout our civic monitoring, our team has suggested new opportunities for collaboration and project expansion, such as suggesting the inclusion of other national companies or research centers, or collaborating with other companies to reuse cigarette butts for other purposes. We believe that the company has positively evaluated such indications, and the ongoing collaboration and the company's willingness to provide guidance and support are signs of a relationship destined to last over time, even beyond the current project. This relationship will be valuable as it will allow us to continue sharing ideas and suggestions to make the project increasingly sustainable in the long term. The Smoking Glasses team is committed to maintaining open communication with the company and will continue to provide feedback and helpful suggestions for the project's progress.

Investigation method

How was the information collected?

  • Web research
  • Visit to the project's location, documented by pictures or videos
  • Interview with people responsible for the project's implementation

Within Essequadro Eyewear, there has been full availability from all team members, from the company's owner, Stefano Scauzillo, to the Chief Financial Officer, Simone Sorrentino, and the Sales Export, Antonio Biele, as well as Michele Cristino, who illustrated the various stages of the processes. Their availability is a sign of commitment and support towards the Oscar project. To facilitate linguistic communication, interviews were conducted with Antonio Biele, the company's Sales Export, so they could be directly conducted in English.

Main questions

1. How did the idea of using cigarette butts to create eyeglass frames come about?
2. What has been the interest and support from local communities, local or regional institutions towards the Oscar project? How has this support influenced the development of the initiative and what could be done to further involve local communities, institutions, or other stakeholders?
(Interview with Antonio Biele, Sales Export Manager at Essequadro Eyewear)

Main answers

1. We get the idea from a meeting where we participated with the idea to recycle the waste, to create something new, to make a resource, the wasted resource, so we decided to use the cigarette butts because they are rich in cellulouse that is the main, how can we say, is the main elemental that we use to create a the frames, so frames are made of cellulose acetate and we just decided to use the cellulose that is inside the cigarette butts to create the cellulose acetate and then the frames.
2. Answer 1: The main interest was exactly what I said the ability to reduce the waste, inside the streets for example, so it’s hard to convey the message that we should put all the wastes in the right places especially the cigarette butts, so, many authorities were happy to have something that smokers can use to put the cigarette butts inside.
Answer 2: Of course it was crucial, because without their help, and their vision, somehow, it would have been impossible to collect the material that we need to go on with this project, so it was crucial.