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.
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