Number One Littered Item WORLDWIDE.
We should recycle cigarette butts! They are seen everywhere on our beautiful beaches, our sidewalks and streets, in our city and county parks! You name it. They damage our environment in multiple ways:
● When washed into storm drains they end up in lakes, rivers and our oceans!
● Fish and other wildlife mistake them for food and are exposed to the nicotine, formaldehyde, arsenic, ammonia and other chemicals.
● Discarding cigarette butts in landfills does NOT solve the problem, they take years to decompose, filters can leach nicotine and tar into groundwater.
As reported by Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup at select locations around the world over 8.7 million pieces of litter were collected and 24% of those were cigarette butts. World? How about your backyard?
When Keep New Hanover Beautiful and Cape Fear River Watch joined together last fall to organize our local International Coastal Cleanup effort over 10,000 pieces of litter were collected county-wide and 44% of it was cigarette litter! Imagine that!
Here are some companies that specialize in cigarette litter prevention, recycling products & programs:
TerraCycle Cigarette Brigade.
Cigarette Butts to Watts.
Keep New Hanover Beautiful just partnered with the City of Wilmington on a pilot project to recycle cigarette butts disposed of in the 110 canisters downtown, they are sent to TerraCycle instead of going to the landfill and re-purposed for industrial materials or composted.