Friday, May 30, 2014

Stop Throwing Butts!

Cigarette butts are a hideous addition to our environment. It’s one of the most easily forgotten forms of littering. Various sources collectively state it takes anywhere from 18 months to 10 years for one cigarette bud to degrade. Those that have quit, even years ago, may still be unknowingly impacting our world. This is not an anger-mongering anti-smoker campaign. This is a constructive way to eliminate the blissful ignorance that is poor smoking habits. For those who don’t smoke, we have a duty to leave a constructive impression on smokers to practice these good smoking habits. Did someone say stats please?
According to Keep America Beautiful, “Tobacco products comprise 38% of all roadway litter”. Nice huh? Check this out. According to the same source, “Overall littering rate for cigarette butts is 65%.” Ridiculous, is the word you were looking for. What does this mean? 65% of all tobacco products become litter. Next time you go to the gas station imagine over half of that wall of cancer behind the counter, is going to be thrown out the window or stomped into the ground.
How dangerous is cigarette litter? Cigarette butts have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds, whales, and other marine creatures who have mistaken them for food. They contain cellulose acetate, a form of plastic. This makes them perfect for saltwater, unfortunately. There are countless amounts on the sides of our roadways and the adjacent woods. Rain pushes a lot of this litter into our oceans.
How many are we talking? Unfortunately cigarette butts are the most common piece of trash discarded worldwide, 1.69 billion pounds each year. As far as ocean trash, cigarette litter is number one. In fact, if you added any two of the top ten most discarded pieces of ocean trash they still wouldn’t amount to the amount of cigarette litter found in our oceans.
The government is spending plenty of money on expressing the personal dangers of smoking. Leaving it up to us to spread awareness of cigarette litter and its impact on the environment. Packing a few of these statistics and some of your personal opinions we can constructively empower a campaign to stop cigarette litter. This would definitely give Mother Earth a sigh of relief. She deserves it. Again, just one man’s opinion.

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