Cigarette Butts: More than a little gross: Toxic Plastic Crap on the Beach | My Plastic-free Life

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Cigarette Butts: More than a little gross: Toxic Plastic Crap on the Beach
Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
April 5, 2010
7:41 pm
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Forum Posts: 352
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February 16, 2010
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Received this email from Environment California today. Check it out:

From: Dan Jacobson, Environment California Legislative Director Mon, Apr 5, 2010 at 10:29 AM

To: Beth Terry

Hi Beth,

They're gross, they're annoying, they can harm or kill animals, and they even contribute to the Pacific Garbage Patch.

I'm talking about cigarette butts, the most common form of beach litter. How common? On one day in 2009, volunteers pulled 340,221 cigarette butts off California beaches. [1]

That's why we're joining the call to ban smoking on state beaches. The ban has already passed through the Assembly, but the governor needs to decide whether or not to sign this ban -- so far he's kept mum.

Join us in calling on the governor to ban smoking on state beaches.

Cigarette butts are designed to take a host of poisonous chemicals out of the cigarette smoke. But these chemicals accumulate in the filter, and when that filter is floating in the ocean those toxic chemicals leach out and harm animals. An San Diego State University study found that "just one filtered cigarette butt had the ability to kill half the fish living in a 1-liter container of water." [2]

Many smokers incorrectly believe that cigarette filters are made of biodegradable cotton. In fact, cigarette filters are made with cellulose-acetate, a type of plastic that never fully decomposes.

Because cigarette butts float, they get taken out to sea by the tide or by wind and rain. Like Styrofoam takeout containers, once in the ocean, this plastic tends to accumulate in giant garbage gyres, like the Pacific Garbage Patch 1,000 miles off our coast.

Banning smoking is a small step, but one with a big payoff. We can dramatically cut one of the most common forms of beach litter, protect the tourism industry by keeping our beaches clean, and we can save money on beach cleaning.

The governor's silence so far on this issue means that he isn't sold one way or another. That's why we need as many people as we can get to call on the governor to sign the bill.

Add your signature by clicking on the link below:

http://www.environmentcalifornia.org/action/oceans/cleaner-beaches?id4=ES

Thanks for all your support,

Dan Jacobson

Environment California Legislative Director

http://www.environmentcalifornia.org

[2] http://www.cigwaste.org/index.php/Research/#toxicity

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