No butts on the beach

by Tracy Stokes on July 9, 2007

in Activism, Toxic World

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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