advertisement
25 January 2012

Trillions of butts

World's No.1 litter item: the cigarette butt. Trillions of these little fire and toxin bombs are discarded every year, and we can't just let them lie.

0

The world's No.1 litter item is the cigarette butt: trillions of these little fire and toxin bombs are discarded every year. Don't just let them lie.

Not only are lit butts a fire hazard, but stubbed-out butts leach toxins, take years to decompose and can get ingested by wildlife and children.

There's a common misconception that cigarettes comprise paper and tobacco, and so are fairly biodegradable. But cigarette filters are mostly composed of cellulose acetate, a kind of plastic, which can take years to break down.

Next time you see a discarded cigarette despoiling one of our beaches or hiking trails, don't just rant about it - pick it up! If each South African removed just ONE butt a year, the country would be 50 million pieces of litter cleaner. Research on littering behaviour suggests that seeing others picking up rubbish raises awareness and makes people less likely to litter.

Capetonians can also call the Stompie Line (021 424 7715) to report drivers who throw cigarette butts out of car windows. Be sure to get the offending car's registration number...and if you're driving remember to pull over and stop before you make the call.

- Olivia Rose-Innes, EnviroHealth Editor, Health24, January 2012

More EnviroHealth Tips

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Terrific Tea! »

Rooibos makes cocktails healthier Rooibos: an alternative energy drink

More than 10 reasons why rooibos is good for you

Today marks the first annual National Rooibos Day, which aims to raise awareness of the health benefits and many uses of rooibos tea.

Healthy? Are you sure? »

5 diseases we can get from animals Could your salon visit make you sick?

7 terrifying diseases you could have without knowing it

Not all serious illnesses come with tell-tale symptoms. There are diseases that can turn your body into a ticking time-bomb while you're unaware of any danger.