A big thank you to the 16 volunteers who turned up on the 18th May to Blitz The Butts in Swanage. We collected nearly 5kg of soggy cigarette butts, and there is no doubt there would have been many more if the overnight rain hadn’t washed them down the drains.
Our aim was to clear the streets of cigarette butts, and to bring attention to the problem, because normal street-cleaning cannot keep pace with the rate that cigarette butts are being discarded. So please “Bin Your Butt”.
Cigarette butts are the most commonly found form of ocean litter, and in 2014 the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup initiative (ICC) volunteers collected 2m of them.
Discarded cigarette butts are non-biodegradable and they are also the most common form of litter found in beach clean ups. It is estimated that around 4 trillion cigarette ends are discarded across the world each year.
As well as being unsightly, cigarette butts are a toxic contaminant, which leach numerous chemicals including heavy metals, nicotine and ethylphenol in water. Discarded butts pose a threat to animals and people, particularly young children if ingested, which is not uncommon.
Source: ASH Fact Sheet on Tobacco and the environment www.ash.org.uk