Throwing your cigarette butt on the ground is a Societal Norm.
Everyone who smokes ditches their cigarette butts on the ground, flicking them unconsciously as a habit. What people don’t see is that this cigarette butt then goes on a journey of its own, traveling through our waterways where all roads lead to the ocean.
Why is this form of pollution acceptable? Why do we levy heavy fines for all other types of pollution, yet when we see someone litter a butt, we don’t even think twice about it?
It is time to change this societal norm and it starts by understanding the facts. Because butts don’t belong on the beach or in our ocean! The only butts that belong in the sand are our own!
- 65% of cigarette butts are littered.
- 5 trillion cigarettes are purchased worldwide each year
- Most cigarette butt pollution occurs at ‘Transition Points’ – areas where a smoker must extinguish their cigarette before preceding
Cigarette Butts Are Plastic Too
- Cigarette butts are made of cellulose acetate, a plastic which persists in the environment. Estimates state they take up to 10-15 years to break down.
- Nearly 5 trillion cigarette butts are thrown away each year, weighing approximately 2 billion pounds! That;s a lot of extra trash!
- And what most people don’t know is that Cigarette Butts Can Be Recycled!
Poison To Water And Wildlife
- Cigarette butt litter is toxic when wet.
- Butts emit cadmium, lead, arsenic and zinc into water and soil as they decompose.
- Cigarette butt litter is also toxic even when it doesn’t reach a waterway.
- Butts contaminate aquatic ecosystems with tar, nicotine, and other potentially deadly substances that can leak into rain water.
- One cigarette butt in approximately 2 gallons of water is lethal to small crustaceans.
- Cigarette butts have been found in fish, birds, sea turtles and other marine creatures who mistake the butt of a cigarette for food.