Cigarette Butts are NOT Biodegradable! Keep Them Out Of Our Parks!

There are many things to not like about smoking. Today I don’t like the butts. 

Recently I was participating in a community park cleanup and I just couldn’t get over how many cigarette butts there were to pick up!  In the sand by the slide, around the benches, scattered around and of course, behind the fence of the adjacent baseball field. It made me wonder, why aren’t they biodegradable?  It seems like they never go away. Either that, or there are WAY too many people smoking around our parks!

It was so annoying, that I thought I’d do a little research on are cigarette butts biodegradable? The resounding answer is no.

Cigarette butts are not just ugly—they also present a threat to wildlife. Plastic pieces have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds, whales and other marine creatures that mistake them for food. So ingestion of plastic cigarette filters is a threat to wildlife. – Clean Virginia Waterways

Most cigarette filters are composed of cellulose acetate, a form of plastic. The white fibers you see in a cigarette filter are NOT cotton, but a plastic that can persist in the environment as long as other forms of plastic. – Clean Virginia Waterways

TreeHugger wrote about two solutions for this problem.  One solution is that someone actually has invented a biodegradable cigarette butt.   The other is a pocket-sized ashtray designed to hold cigarette butts so that smokers can take the responsibilty of taking their butts with them.  The main concern with the first idea is that smokers might litter more because they think nature will take care of the problem. 

My suggestion is to implement both ideas.  Make the butts biodegradable but don’t advertise it.  Then get these little ashtrays out there.  I know a very responsible person that won’t quit, and I would buy one for her!

OK,  off my soapbox.  Smoking is bad,  but throwing your butts on the ground, into our oceans and waterways and where my children play is just despicable!

Stop Smoking and Stop Littering!

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