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Thursday, February 2, 2012

No ifs, ands or butts, please

Thursday, February 2, 2012

There’s a simple solution to keeping cigarette butts out of our waterways: Don’t toss them on the ground.

Seems like a no-brainer, right?  The message is worth reinforcing because there are still too many cigarette butts that end up along our rivers and beaches.

Last year, cigarette butts were the most common item collected along the county’s beaches, with more than 50,000 reported in 2011 compared to about 35,000 five years ago.

Cigarette filters are made from cellulose acetate, a hardy plastic that takes 15 to 20 years to decompose. Discarded filters contain chemicals that can harm aquatic life. They often end up on beaches because they’re flicked out of moving vehicles or dropped on sidewalks then travel to storm drains and streams.

So if you’re a smoker, please use portable ashtrays to store cigarette butts until they can be properly disposed of in a trash can.

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