We like Butts, but not this kind...

Michael Bonelli

Posted on January 05 2020

We like Butts, but not this kind...

Many articles about oceanic plastic pollution focus on items such as straws and plastic bottles--but how bout them butts! Cigarette butts seem to get overlooked when discussing some of the leading items found in beach cleanups around the world.

Many might assume that the filter on a cigarette is biodegradable, however, this cotton-like element actually consists of micro plastic- cellulose acetate. The filter can actually take up to a decade to biodegrade! 

Cigarette butts have been the number one item collected by global beach cleanups since the 1980's and seem to have flown under the radar leaving straws and plastic bottles to take the spotlight. All of these filters litter our roads while washing into storm drains to ultimately collect on our beautiful beaches and waterways. The toxins from used cigarettes seep into waterways and poison aquatic species while ultimately effecting the areas where you and your family may even swim.

Its time to kick some butts...

Smoking of course is a personal choice and we are not here to lecture anyone about the consequences of smoking. If you are a smoker, a possible solution is to choose a cigarette that does not utilize a filter. The filter on most cigarettes is more of a marketing item and does not filter out most toxins from smoking. It does make for a smoother inhale when smoking, which is why many prefer a filtered cigarette. 

With the rise of e-cigarettes and new vaping technology one would hope that cigarette pollution would decrease-- but now discarded e-cigarette pods are directly substituting cigarette filters at schools, parks, and beaches.

One way or another it comes down to conscientiousness. One must be aware that by littering, even these small items, ad up to huge consequences. What is convenient at the time may be devastating later.

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