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article imageNo More Butts on the Beach

By Chris V. Thangham     Jul 21, 2007 in Environment
Cigarette filter butts are a nuisance in beaches in Britain. Surfers Against Sewage, Marine Conservation Society and British Naturists are raising awareness of dangers in butt littering in beaches.
The folks in the picture work for the “Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), Marine Conservation Society and British Naturists. There are numerous ways of sending the message but most of the time a shock and awe ad campaign is used to send the message. This is one of them. But the message is valid; these cigarette butts are a menace in beaches.
Cigarette filters or butts are often seen lying everywhere and most of them are not biodegradable and they remain in environment for more than 15 years. The Cigarette filters protect the smokers by minimizing the nicotine content but trap them in the filters which is thrown away. The filters are composed of 12,000 plastic like cellulose acetate fibers and they decay to a form of plastic powder and releasing the trapped nicotine back to the environment usually in the drains, lakes, rivers and beaches.
Here are some facts about the cigarette butt littering:
• Cigarette butts are one of the most commonly found litter items on beaches around the UK.
• They are not biodegradable, but made from 12,000 plastic fibers.
• 1 cigarette butt can take up to 15 years to break down.
• Each cigarette butt can pollute 3 liters of seawater.
• Cigarette butts are often mistaken for food by marine wildlife.
If one wants to smoke it is their right but at least they can throw away the filter in proper trash containers and not throw everywhere especially in the sands of beaches where children and pets play in the beaches.
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