Cigarette Butts: Some of the Major Ocean Pollutants

Pollution is one of the major threats for the ocean along with climate change. Even though there are efforts being done, the pollution has not reduced in terms of plastic, garbage, and other waste.

Believe it or not, estimates show that 15 to 51 million pieces of plastic are already in the oceans and the number is expected to grow rapidly in the near future. By the year of 2050, plastics in the ocean will outweigh all the fish.

Even though plastic is currently the major concern regarding ocean pollution, a recent data by the NGO Ocean Conservancy says something else. Let us find out more…

Cigarette Butts Are Polluting Our Oceans

The data showed that cigarette butts are the single largest pollution cause in the waters. Around 60 million cigarette filters have been collected since the 80s and their number exceeds any other type of waste including plastic straws and bags.

How do cigarette butts go into the oceans, sees, and rivers? By being thrown on the street rather than in proper containers and through sewers and oceans, they are reaching our waters on a daily basis.

Cigarettes Are not Biodegradable

Even though you may think that cigarettes have biodegradable filters, they do not, despite having a natural product known as cellulose acetate. Plastic forms on this substance when it is processed and thus, prolongs the decay.

When they are decaying, cigarette butts release pollutants with lead, arsenic, and nicotine and are a major threat for the marine life.

This being said, it is pivotal to teach people how to properly dispose of cigarette butts and enforce stricter laws which will help minimize the pollution.




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