CIGARETTE LITTER How to reduce and prevent it Cigarette butt litter accounts for one in every five items collected on cleanups, making it the most prevalent form of litter on Earth
Let’s Make Our Community A Role Model for Other Communities • A community with no cigarette litter is a clean community, a healthy community, and a community that will be a model for the rest of the nation to follow • The issue of cigarette butt litter has gained attention due to its prevalence everywhere, the accent on environmental conduct, and the easy disposal solutions that are available • In the future, other community – most of whom are initiating programs to attack this environmental blight - will follow our lead
THE PROBLEM Some statistics • Cigarette butts are the most common debris item collected during The Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) • There were 8.2 million cigarettes and filters picked up from 1999 to 2004 – which accounts for 29% of all litter in the ICC • There are 176,000,000 pounds of cigarettes littered each year in the United States. • The cigarettes littered in one year alone worldwide can go from the moon to the Earth - almost 300 times! • Eighty percent of the 4.5 trillion cigarettes littered annually worldwide find their way into water systems
The Effects – Fire • Littered cigarettes are responsible for destructive fires that cause massive amounts of property damage and wreak havoc on many lives • Many fires started by flicked cigarette butts out car windows account for much damage to homes and natural forestation • According to the National Fire Protection Association, cigarette-caused fires result in more than 1,000 civilian deaths and 3,000 critical injuries, many among firefighters • According to the American Burn Association, about 100 of the fire deaths each year are children and nonsmokers. Nationally, annual human and property costs of fires caused by careless smoking total about $ 6 billion. In 1997, there were more than 130,000 cigarette related fires
The Effects – Water • Eighty percent of the 4.5 trillion cigarettes littered annually worldwide find their way into water systems, causing a deterioration of overall quality when toxins leak out • Marine life, shore birds, and other animals ingest the cigarettes, thinking that they are food, resulting in sickness and deaths • Shorelines, lakes, rivers, and other waterways are affected • The sand on the beaches is filled with multi-colored stones, interesting shells, and lots of cigarette butts that wash up from the water or are discarded by beachgoers - Tourist dollars are affected by unsightly, polluted beaches
Effects – Maintenance • Public smoking bans in government, restaurant, and workplace buildings have created more littered butts outside of those premises • Every littered cigarette butt can take anywhere from two to twenty-five years to biodegrade. • Manpower to clean cigarettes that are dropped is a needless budget expense • Pennsylvania State University estimated that in 2000, its landscapers spent 10 hours a week picking up discarded cigarettes at an estimated annual cost of $150,000 • Smokers litter their cigarettes within 10 feet of a permanent ashtray because they are unaware that their habit is causing litter
The Good Facts • Most smokers admittedly drop their cigarettes on the ground as a habit without thought -These same people do not litter paper, drink receptacles, or even small wrappers from gum - These environmentally-conscious smokers are usually eager to dispose of their butts properly when they are made aware that they are littering • Most people today are eager to support environmental measures that are easy to implement and cost-free to them. • Litter is not welcome • In a survey from the Long Island Sound Office of the U.S. E.P.A. released in April 2007, residents who were more knowledgeable about environmental issues were more likely to behave in an environmentally responsible way leading to improved water quality for Long Island Sound. • Studies conducted by Keep America Beautiful show that smoking-related litter can be decreased by 50 percent or more through educational campaigns.