Smoking is Bad for Your Planet

The most littered object on the planet is not beer bottles, or plastic bags but rather the humble fag butt. Smokers are the biggest litters. Why are we not jumping on smokers? Do we really have a problem?

From plastic bags to burnt-out cars nothing riles people more than something unsightly. Cigarette butts however are so tiny that most people just ignore them.  It is like cruelty to animals. Killing a bird is frowned upon but killing a fly is socially acceptable. The bird has the protection of most people whereas nobody could care less about the fly. It is only when cigarette butts herd together that they get people’s attention.

Dropping a fag butt is not seen as socially unacceptable, but maybe we are wrong.

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Summer in Munich is beautiful. The river meanders through the city with its flat stone beds on either side with people bathing in the warm summer sun. They smoke they drink and they litter. Every Monday the large bits of litter are picked up by rubbish men, but what happens to the cigarette butts. They lie there and wait for the next flood.

A study by the San Diego State University has called for cigarette butts to be reclassified as toxic waste. In the study Novotny highlights that cigarette butt solution “is toxic at rather low concentrations. Even one butt in a litre of water can kill the fish in a period of 96 hours.

The 850,000 tonnes of cigarette butts that are littered every year are poisoning our water. Every single one of those little butts lying on the dry river bed are a ticking time bomb for the further poisoning of our rivers, lakes and seas.

Smoking releases poison bullets that kill fish through congestion or through poisoning, toxify a major source of human protein and of course add a further toxic element to our water supply. Humans rule this small blue pearl, but they cannot control their wilful destruction of themselves.

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2 Responses to “Smoking is Bad for Your Planet”

  1. Chang says:

    When was this article written? Where are the sources? I’d like to know. Thanks. :) I am an environmentalist too.

  2. Lindsay says:

    I am passionate about this topic. My issue is people who throw their butts out of their cars like the earth is a trash can. I usually honk or even stop them at a light to correct them. Interesting reactions, some people even pick them up.

    My question is how many environmentalists are smokers…and do they liter? That would be an interesting statistic and I’d start a campaign with that!

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