Thursday, April 23

Cigarette butts should be concidered offensive litter!

Remember when I wrote about my adopt a road experience (My Adopt-A-Road Experience)
and how I talked about the disgustingly enormous number of cigarette butts we picked up? It seems that others are just as disgusted by this as I was/am:

Small item, big impact: littered cigarette butts in Oregon
by Scott Learn, The Oregonian
Sunday April 12, 2009, 9:30 PM

Legislation seeks a fine or community service
Schallert, backed by Oregon Rep. Carolyn Tomei, D-Milwaukie, is behind House Bill 2676. The half-page bill would make it a Class B misdemeanor to knowingly toss a butt, cigarette or cigar.

The penalty would be a fine or, perhaps more karmicly consistent, community service that includes clearing property of cigarettes, cigars and filters "unlawfully deposited on the property."

"I see Oregon as an environmental leader, with the beach bill, with the bottle bill," says Schallert, 56. "I'd like to reach a consensus that (tossing cigarette butts) is not OK. If you're the person cleaning it up, you really notice it." 3.2 million butts picked up in 2008 at beaches, waterways

Cigarette butts are small, but they're not a small problem.

The Ocean Conservancy, which coordinates cleanups worldwide, says they're the No. 1 littered item on the globe. Cleanup volunteers picked up 3.2 million in 2008 from beaches and inland waterways.

They don't biodegrade -- the filters, for example, look like cotton, but they're actually plastic filaments. Animals, particularly birds, like to eat them. And they contain hazardous ingredients that could harm aquatic organisms.

Some communities, including San Diego and Hawaii County, have banned smoking on beaches or in parks. Some have handed out pocket ashtrays and posted anti-littering billboards. Others, particularly in England and Australia, are more aggressively pursuing cigarette-smoking litterbugs.

Oregon has a law against "offensive littering."

But it doesn't specifically call out cigarette butts.

Continuing reading here


Lissa said...

I just heard recently (in my area-FL) that you can call in someone's license plate number if you see them throw there "butts" out the window. They can be fined up to $500.

marina villatoro said...

They are totally offensive and disgusting. Just cause they are little in size, doesn't mean they aren't polluting and contaminating our earth. Plus, they are poisoning our animals, especially the marine life.
The main question is:
Why are people still smoking? I smoked for 15 years and quit over 8 years ago. Whenever I think about it, I'm like what was the point???

Over Coffee - the green edition said...

I like that law Lissa. They have something similar in CA for all sorts of things, drunk driving, using cell phones, littering, etc. All though I don’t know how you would call since you are not suppose to use your cell phone while driving ;-)

I totally agree Marina. I really was amazed by the number that we found in our small half mile stretch. Just imagine the number all over the world’s roadways. Good job quitting! I am sure it was not easy.