Butts

I was on my way to work yesterday, and although I had great intentions on leaving the house early due to the overnight snow fall – I didn’t.  Ollie and I left at the same time we leave every morning.  He happily barked away in the back seat until we arrived at Puppy Camp and he got dumped dropped off for the day, and I proceeded to make my way to the office (this really has no relevance to the rest of this post, but it’s my bog so I can write what I want too).  A few weeks ago I followed a truck up Weston Road and the driver chain smoked the entire way – I think he must have had about 5 smokes that I counted him flicking the butt out the window.  I just so happened to be right behind that exact same truck this morning, at least I think it was.  I can’t imagine there is another person out there that takes that route in the mornings, drives a truck and smokes that much.  It’s also disrespectful to the other drivers on the road to flick butts out at them.  R has told me stories about travelling on his bike and having people in cars flick butts out their windows that end up bouncing off his helmet or jacket.   I don’t like smoking, but since once upon a time I succumbed to peer pressure and was a smoker I don’t judge.  To each his own.  Except when you are littering your cigarette butts all over our beautiful country!  If you think flicking your butt out the window will prevent you or your vehicle from smelling like smoke – I have news for you, it doesn’t.  What it does do is litter our streets, towns and cities with ugly nicotine stained filters.  I was trying to see if I could find any information that related to how long it may take a single cigarette butt to biodegrade and I came across this piece of information.

Most cigarette filters are composed of cellulose acetate, a form of plastic. The white fibers you see in a cigarette filter are NOT cotton, but a plastic that can persist in the environment as long as other forms of plastic.

 I also discovered that it can take 18 months to 10 years to degrade!  I know that I am doing my fair share at harming the environment, but I am also trying to do more than my fair share to help reduce the future harm we cause to it.  In almost all communities littering is against the law, why isn’t it monitored more closely?  I watched this same guy flick another 4 cigarette butts out the window this morning, and who knows how many he smokes on the way to work in the morning.  I did a little calculation just based on the stretch of road that I have observed him on.  If he flicks 4 cigarette butts out the window on that stretch of road 5 days a week for 50 weeks (give him 2 weeks vacation to litter elsewhere), he is throwing 1000 cigarette butts on just that road alone in a year!  WOW – that’s really all I have left to say.

A cigarette butt, lying in dirty snow.

Image via Wikipedia

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January 13, 2011. Uncategorized.

One Comment

  1. JC replied:

    I think you should post a photo of his licence plate. On your blog AND on You Tube.

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