People don’t often think about the environmental impact of smoking cigarettes. They believe that the cigarette goes up in smoke anyway, so there is no waste product. The problem is, however, that most cigarettes, even those made with the best cigarette tubes, leave butts. It is believed that most of the world’s litter is actually made up of cigarette butts, which is a worrying statistic. Many of these butts end up rolling and flying into waterways and streams, where they cause untold damage to plants and wildlife. This is why it is so important that, if you smoke, you get rid of butts properly. It will help make the world a better place.
Cigarette Butts and Dangers
Most people who smoke unconsciously throw away their cigarette when they are done with it, or when they have to get inside a building or a vehicle. This is actually incredibly dangerous. First of all, it means you are contributing to the huge amount of toxic litter that is now all over our planet, including in our waterways. Secondly, however, you are causing a massive fire hazard. If any flammable materials are near your smoldering cigarette butt, it will catch fire and the consequences could be devastating.
Luckily, many businesses and local governments now understand this, which is why many ash cans are around public places, taxi and bus stands and entrances to buildings. This is an encouragement for people to get rid of their cigarette the proper way, thereby preventing fire and making sure our waterways stay clean.
If a butt does end up getting carried into a waterway, which is very likely, or if it ends up in a park of forest, domestic pets or local wildlife will probably pick it up. Cigarettes are full of nicotine, which is what we are addicted to, as well as various other dangerous chemicals. Animals are much smaller than us and these levels of chemicals are not just addictive to them, they are downright deadly. This is true not in the least because an animal will likely eat the cigarette in full.
All cigarette butts contain cellulose acetate. It actually takes many years for this to biodegrade. This means that the chance of them causing damage to the planet and its wildlife will also exist for many years. Our environment is incredibly fragile and teetering on the brink of a disaster, and we must make sure that we do all we can to protect it.
The best way to make sure none of these consequences happen is very simple: dispose of cigarette butts properly. Do not throw them on the ground, but use disposal bins instead. Make sure it is properly extinguished as well, so you do not indivertibly cause a fire. And always encourage other smokers to do the same. Being an inspiration for just one other person can make a huge difference.