Here are a few interesting facts:
- Cigarette butt litter is the world’s greatest environmental litter problem
- Globally approximately 5.2 trillion cigarettes are manufactured every year. In developed countries (or in markets where indoor smoking bans have been introduced) almost 1 in 3 cigarette butts end up as litter.
- In most Western countries, cigarette butt litter accounts for around 50% of all litter.
- Cigarette butt litter dramatically increases where indoor smoking bans are implemented.
- It can take up to 12 years for a cigarette butt to break down.
- Cigarette butts can leach chemicals such as cadmium, lead and arsenic into our marine environment within an hour of contact with water.
- Cigarette butts have been found in the stomachs of fish, whales, birds and other marine animals which leads to ingestion of hazardous chemicals and digestive blockages.
- Smokers in many countries can be fined for flicking a lit cigarette.And the final and most important thing to know about cigarette butt litter is: Only smokers can stop cigarette butt litter. We need to educate them that butts are litter, and provide a positive alternative to littering.
- Nearly all cigarette filters are composed of a bundle of 12,000 plastic-like cellulose acetate fibers
- Within an hour of contact with water, cigarette butts can begin leaching chemicals such as cadmium, lead and arsenic into the marine environment. Those remaining on land seep chemicals such as Nicotine, Pyrene and Flourathene into sediment.
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