10 Things You Should Know About Cigarette Butt Litter
- 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.
- In Australia, NSW smokers throw away enough butts to fill 7 Olympic swimming pools. Up to 350,000 butts end up in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria and waterways every day.
- 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.