Did you know that cigarette butts are the world’s most littered plastic item? In 2019 National Geographic published an article titled ‘cigarette butts are toxic plastic pollution. Should they be banned?’ We recommend reading this article whether you smoke or not, to better understand the effects of throwing a cigarette out of the window or on the ground.
These are some of the points that stick out to us:
– Cigarettes are not biodegradable. When someone litters or throws away a cigarette, they are leaving behind plastic, nicotine, and heavy metals. The plastic breaks down into micro-plastics and the nicotine and heavy metals are soaked up into their surrounding environment – inhibiting plant growth, polluting waterways, and harming marine life. Many marine species will mistake a cigarette butt for a morsel of food. As mentioned in the previous point, every part of a cigarette is potentially harmful and should not be digested. – The city of San Francisco spends about $ 7.5 million per year cleaning up cigarette butts. In fact, it’s believed people are more likely to pick up their dog poop than cigarette butts. As the title of the article suggests, banning cigarette butts altogether could be a possible solution to this problem.
Thoughts? If this topic interests you at all, you can read the NatGeo article here.