Cigarette smoking is not only harmful to one’s health, but also to the environment. Excluding all the Styrofoam and plastic, discarded cigarette butts are at the number one among the collected 6,489,979 collected trash items from year 1989 to year 2012 in California.
This year, the annual Coastal Cleanup Day that is held every September will take place on September 21 from 9 AM until noon. This yearly movement shows just how much wastes and what sorts of wastes end up polluting the oceans and the waterways. Volunteers can show through participation in this cleanup program that they want to make important changes that can protect the earth.
Cigarette Butts Are Number One Trash
Volunteers do not just pick up the trash they see on the coastal areas. Rather, this garbage are sorted to create a list of the junks that people carelessly and inappropriately throw away. A lot of different rubbish is actually collected including food wrappers, food containers, lids, caps and more. The number 4 on the list are paper and plastic bags with a total of 1,374,381. This seems ironic especially when one thinks about how environmental stewards try to campaign for the prohibited or limited use of plastic bags.
The more disconcerting fact is that cigarette butts are major litters that pollute various bodies of water. Smokers, clearly, do not just harm themselves and others through the smoke they are giving off. This smoke also contributes to the atmospheric damages of air pollution. Cigarette butts that also essentially contain tar, toxins and other harmful components of burned tobacco also pollute both land and water.
There are about 45 million smokers in the US. Back in 2011, CDC reports show that a total of 293 billion pieces of cigarettes were bought by these smokers.
All over the world, there is an estimated 80% of the 5.6 trillion smokers who carelessly drop their used up cigarette butts on the ground. In the US, there are about 234 billion cigarette butts discarded on the ground each year. This is no mystery as it became a casual habit of smokers to just throw away smoke butts out of car windows, outside stores and shops, in parks, along the street and everywhere.
Throwing them away seems no cause no problem on first though because they are so small. Yet, once collected and in great numbers, one can surmise the damages these cigarette butts can and have caused to the environment.
The environmental pollution is getting worse each day with these toxic laden butts. Butts do not dissolve, although they can fluff up and discolor. Later on, these butts will shrink and harden, making them less noticeable as short and gray stubs. Nonetheless, these stubs still contain cellulose acetate, which is like plastic that may take decades before they disintegrate. In essence, cigarette butts that end up in the watershed and waterways are forever going to pose risk to all living creatures.
Electronic Cigarettes Might Be A Solution
Electronic cigarettes, the new smoking device that vaporize nicotine solution and deliver it to the user like a regular cigarette. Yet, unlike conventional cigarettes, these electronic devices produce no tar, toxins, carcinogens and carbon monoxide. Most of all, no smoke butts are generated and end up thrown on the ground.
If smokers cannot be taught how they should be responsible in discarding their trash, these new smoking alternatives can be an ideal option. Check this detailed review for Green Smoke ecigs!