Cigarette Butts and Our Environment

Cigarette Butts And Our Environment

Cigarettes butts

Did you know that there are approximate 7 billion of cigarette butts are discarded each year? The following case study will discuss about the issue of discarding cigarette butts and how have the problem been resolved.

What are cigarette butts made of ?

Picture - Cigarette Butts And Our Environment

Majority of cigarette butts or filters are made from fibrous material called cellulose acetates, a kind of plastic that are thin tows that are packed tightly to form a filter. The purpose of the filter is to trap toxic substances from the cigarette before it enters the smoker’s lung.

Even tough cigarette butts are supposed to make cigarettes safer, but because different company uses different ingredients it has a different effect. For example in 1950, the substance asbestos was used to make filter, however it was later found out that it’s even harmful than unfiltered cigarettes.Each butt contains the remnants of tobacco, paper and a filter. The residue in the butts contains toxic and soluble chemicals. These chemicals are can cause deadly affects to the environmental pollution. 

Where is cigarette butts different from paper

  • Cigarette butts are made of cellulose acetate(a kind of plastic)
    • It can’t be recycled
    • Its extremely slow to degrade
    • Ranging from 2 months – 8 years to biodegrade
    • It undergoes chemical changes as they are decomposed
    • It leaches toxic chemicals into the environment if they are in contact with water 
    • These reaction processes are harmful to humans 

Why do people litter ?

Picture - Cigarette Butts And Our EnvironmentMost common littered items in Victoria in 2013

The Graph on the left shows the most common type of litters in Victoria. Based on the graph, it illustrates that cigarette butts consist the highest percentage of litter in Australia.
From the graph, it shows a pattern of most common litters in Victoria. Most of the littered items are usually food or beverage wrap. The reason for this can be because the they are light and people aren’t bothered to look for a bin. This can be a bad affect to the environment.

As for cigarette butts, they make up the highest percentage in the graph. Another common reasons from the smokers are that they think cigarette butts are just like paper, that will eventually end up somewhere being recycled. Sadly, this is not the case.

There could be other possible reasons for littering such as:

Picture - Cigarette Butts And Our Environment

  • People can’t be bothered or too lazy to find a bin
  • People have no sense of pride in their community
  • The bins are not suitable for disposing cigarette butts
  • It’s not cool to use a bin
  • There is a lack of education / poor parenting of young people
  • If an area is already dirty, why bother to look for a bin?
  • People do not  know about  the  consequences of littering

Cigarette Butts And Our Environment

Cigarette Butts And Our Environment
Cigarette Butts And Our Environment
Cigarette Butts And Our Environment
Cigarette Butts And Our Environment
Cigarette Butts And Our Environment

Cigarette Butts And Our Environment

Cigarette Butts And Our Environment

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