Butts in the street – Vancouver’s bad habit

Cigarette butts are a common sight in the streets, parks and beaches around the City of Vancouver. They have become a socially acceptable litter, that are often washed away by the rain where they remain out of sight and consequently out of mind.

But those cigarette butts are making their way into local water ways and often into the ocean, where they do not decompose and put local marine life at risk.

Cigarette butts are a common sight in the streets of Vancouver, where they are being washed away and causing harm to local marine life
You can find cigarette butts on almost every street of Vancouver, where they are being washed away and causing harm to local marine life

 

The filter of a cigarette is a material called cellulose acetate, a plastic fiber that does not decompose but instead slowly breaks down into smaller plastic particles.

Marine life often mistakes these plastic pieces for food, which can have devastating affects such as acute injuries from blockage or a false sense of being full.

Cigarette butts are the number one item collected from beaches in Vancouver and Canada, even since Vancouver has banned smoking on beaches and parks.

Data from the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up shows that cigarette butts are the number one item collected in Canada in 2014
Data from the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up shows that cigarette butts are the number one item collected in Canada in 2014
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