I find it incredible that so many people that smoke don’t think twice about flicking their non-biodegradable butts out of their car windows, into the street. It’s the same with most smokers who walk around town – as soon as they are done smoking, they simply drop their butts on the sidewalks.
Whenever I participate in city cleanups, I/we tend to sweep up countless cigarette butts. It’s disgusting. It’s even more disgusting to think how many of those filters end up in our fresh waters, not to mention the oceans. In a day and age, when we are dealing with so many environmental issues, for some reason most smokers don’t feel that littering their cigarette butts is a big deal.
On the flip side of the scourge is the cigarette manufacturers who have done nothing about creating more sustainable cigarettes, which are 98% plastic. In order to compel the manufacturers to do the right thing, by creating a biodegradable filter, Sea Hugger, an organization dedicated to keeping the ocean safe for wildlife, is asking the Phillip Morris company to step up and design a filter that is environmentally friendly. Here’s the scoop from Sea Hugger:
4.5 trillion cigarette butts are littered worldwide each year. Cigarette butts are 98% plastic and take up to 10 years to degrade. Cigarette butts are the most common form of human-made litter in the world, and are the worst ocean contaminate
We demand that Phillip Morris International, the largest tobacco company, take responsibilities for the pollution they cause by creating a cigarette filter that is biodegradable, or removing the filters from their products entirely. Research has shown that filtered cigarettes are no safer than unfiltered cigarettes.
Sea Hugger is a nonprofit organization working to end the environmental devastation of marine plastics through education, promoting plastic alternatives, sponsoring recycling programs abroad, and hosting beach cleanups.
Click here to sign the Change.org petition.
Lead image courtesy Sea Hugger/Change.org