Cigarette Litter Pollution Prevention Program

Everyone has seen discarded cigarette butts in the street and not thought much about it - a tiny piece of trash that a careless smoker left behind.  If you've ever been at a stoplight and glanced down at the road, the litter you see from your window is probably cigarette butts. 

More than one-third of the litter on our roads is cigarette butts. These butts are made from cellulose acetate and take a minimum of ten years to break down.  But when they do break down they leak cadmium, lead and arsenic into soil and waterways.  

Cigarette butts accumulate on the street and with the addition of a rain event, those butts get washed into our storm drains and end up in our creeks that eventually lead to the Catawba River and then to the Atlantic Ocean. 

More than nine billion tons of litter ends up in our oceans every year.  And, of all this trash and pollution, is there one that stands out from all the rest?  Many believe that cigarette butts are one of the worst pollutants because of the 12,000+ microplastic cellulose acetate fibers found in each butt plus the 3000+ toxic chemicals found in each filter.  Researchers have determined that one smoked cigarette butt placed in a liter of water will kill five out of ten fish in a 48 hour period.   

The solution?  If you smoke or know people who smoke, make sure cigarette butts are properly disposed of - in the trash or in a cigarette butt receptacle - not on the ground, in the street or on the sidewalk.  In the car, use an ashtray and then empty it into the trash later.  Never empty it onto a patch of ground or on a parking lot.  

It's simple - when someone throws a cigarette butt on the road or sidewalk, it's going to end up in our waterways.  We have a lot to do in order to protect our natural resources, but this is an easy one.  Stub it and can it!  

Giving away cigarette litter receptacles may seem like an odd thing for us to do, butt... 

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Stop by or email us to request a car ash tray, a pocket ash tray or a receptacle for your business.  


If it's on the ground, it's in our water!  So, if you do smoke, stub it and can it!