Cigarette butts have increasingly become one of our major litter issues. The problem has escalated to a greater extent in recent years, due in part to government legislation that restricts smoking in public buildings and restaurants. This, in turn, forces smokers outside, where butts are often littered.
Cigarette butts may seem small - however, with an estimated 28.5 million cigarette butts (equivalent to 14,3 tons) being discarded annually in the Hermanus CBD (an area of 0,25 km²) alone, the toxic chemicals contained within add up.
“We still find huge amounts of waste that make it into the ocean. Especially plastic bottle caps, straws, and cigarette butts. People tend to think that these are small pieces of rubbish and will not make a difference, especially when it is thrown into drains,” says Anina Lee of Whale Coast Conservation (WCW).