Cigarette Butts Worse Than Plastic; Smokers Are Leading Contributors To Ocean Trash


Photo by NOLISOLI.PH

Sure, smoking a cigarette makes you look cool or alleviates your stress or nervousness, however, the cost is definitely higher than you think. We are not just talking about money too, nor your lungs, nor air that people around you breath– no, those are old problems. There is actually a new way you can cause damage as a smoker, and that is to the ocean.

The research results from several environmental and tobacco entities are quite shocking. Each year, 5.6 trillion cigarettes are manufactured worldwide, about two thirds or more than 66 percent of those are improperly disposed of by the smokers. Chances are, you are one of them if you smoke, how often have you thrown away a cigarette butt, eh?

Of course, everything improperly disposed of has a way of being brought to the oceans through storms, drains, streams, and rivers. Then there are also those who throw their cigarette filters directly on beaches. The situation is a lot worse since there is no regulation for the proper disposal of cigarette filters, compared to the environmental policies put in place for plastics. This made cigarette butts as the single most collected trash on beaches for the past 32 consecutive years.

Moreover, there are also certain chemical dangers from cigarette butts, especially for marine life. A lot of them get swallowed by sea turtles, fishes, dolphins, and whales. Also, no, these filters are not biodegradable, they are made of a different type of plastic which contains a lot of harmful chemicals. Hence, a lot of environmentalists are pushing for the abolition of cigarette butts/filters altogether, since they allegedly serve no other purpose than for marketing. Until then, and in the meantime, as Samuel Jackson said it, simply, “hold on to your butts.” Oh and dispose of them properly, stop making nature pay for your smoking addiction.

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Natividad Sidlangan
Sid was born, did some stuff, then decided to become a writer. He is now on a quest to farm some accolades and life experiences so that he can boast about them in his online 'about yourself' page. So far, the only thing he was able to boast about is a handlebar mustache.

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