No butts on the beach

by Tracy Stokes on July 9, 2007

in Activism, Toxic World

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The Surfers Against Sewage “No Butts on the Beach” campaign is into its 5th year, and in that time they’ve given away 8,000 pocket ashtrays to responsible smokers.

A crack team of SAS (Surfers Against Sewage), Marine Conservation Society and British Naturist campaigners took to a Brighton naturist beach to get the message across.

The incidence of cigarette butts on beaches is on the increase, and here are some facts to explain why that’s such a bad thing:

  • Cigarette butts are one of the most commonly found litter items on beaches around the UK.
  • They are not biodegradable, but made from 12,000 plastic fibres.
  • 1 cigarette butt can take up to 15 years to break down.
  • Each cigarette butt can pollute 3 litres of seawater.
  • Cigarette butts are often mistaken for food by marine wildlife.

How can you help?

If you are a smoker, don’t leave butts lying around on beaches or anywhere else. Take a portable ashtray with you. If you don’t have one, improvise. Surfers Against Sewage suggests trying an empty film cannister. How about a small lidded tin (the type that lip balm comes in) or a small plastic food container?

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