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Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Thursday, 19 April 2012
in Earth Blog

Cigarettes are #1 Piece of Litter Found Nationwide

There are several drawbacks- if not outright awful health problems- to being addicted to smoking cigarette butt beach alvimanncigarettes and some of these might even affect your immediate family. We’ve talked about how cigarettes are bad for your memory and for the air and now there is at least one new study that says we are unaware that cigarettes are “the number one littered item every year on U.S. roadways and beaches.”

Smoking while on the go, in your car or out for a walk, and that cigarette has to go somewhere once you are finished sucking those carcinogens down. Your cigarette butt might go into your car’s ashtray, a trashcan, or a public ashtray. But what if there isn’t a place to toss it? It gets tossed wherever. After all, what are cigarettes made out of? Tobacco and paper: that’s bio-degradable, right? Not really.

The paper burns away leaving the filters which are mainly plastic and as we all know: plastic does not breakdown completely. The butts also contain heavy metals that are horrible for the marine ecosystems when they enter the waterways.

International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) estimates that in 2010 over one million cigarette butts were collected from the United States during their annual clean-up day.  The U.S. estimate accounts for at least half of the 2 million butts that were picked up internationally. The ICC says “cigarette butts account for more than three times the number of any other item found over the past 25 years.” That means three times more cigarettes are tossed out than the more commonly used bottles, cans and plastic bags and if it’s not sociably acceptable to leave that trash lying around, then why do cigarettes get a pass?

They don’t. Which is why Legacy, a public health non-profit and the group responsible for the truth® campaign, is trying to raise awareness about the problem cigarettes pose to the environment and encouraging a tobacco-free existence.

"Cigarette butts are commonly, unconsciously and inexcusably dumped into the global environment every year," said Dr. Holly Bamford, Deputy Assistant Administrator for the National Ocean Service at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. "Once these filters make their way into our oceans, they could be mistaken for food and ingested by birds and marine life, which could cause them to choke or starve to death.  We have to begin to change social norms so that just like every other form of litter, it is unacceptable to drop plastic cigarette butts anywhere other than proper receptacles.”

Make an effort to dispose of cigarette butts properly. Better yet, try quitting and eliminate the hassle of smoking all together. The fish and birds will thank you.

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Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio. Samina and her husband believe that sustainability starts in the home and try to live their lives as simply as possible without compromising comfort.

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1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

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1945: Delivered to US Army.

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1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

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1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

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1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

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1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

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1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

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2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

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2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

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2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

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2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

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2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

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