According to a new survey conducted by Legacy, while more than 88 percent of Americans think that cigarette butts are an environmental concern, more than 44 percent of those polled who had ever smoked admitted to having dropped a cigarette on the ground and nearly 32 percent had dropped a cigarette out of a car window. According to environmental clean-up reports, cigarette butts are the No. 1 littered item on U.S. roadways and the No. 1 item found discarded on beaches and waterways worldwide. Littered cigarette butts are more than just an eye sore – they’re toxic tobacco trash. Made primarily of plastic that biodegrades only under extreme conditions, cigarette butts put wildlife in danger and wreak costly havoc on U.S. waterways, parks, beaches and roadways. Additionally, cigarette butts contain carcinogens that can leach into soil, and chemicals that are poisonous to wildlife, threatening to contaminate water sources.
This month in advance of Earth Day on April 22, Legacy partnered with the Colorado-based Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics (Leave No Trace) on a public service campaign to raise awareness and mobilize action surrounding this toxic problem. A new set of radio and television Public Service Announcements (PSAs) – available in English and Spanish – urges the public to ‘Rethink Butts’ and take a new perspective on this environmental issue. The new set of bilingual PSAs is available online for download and distribution at Rethinkbutts.org.
Join more than a billion people in 180 countries around the world and commit to promoting environmental action this year, by starting the discussion about this form of toxic litter. Download a toolkit, share the PSAs and read more at RethinkButts.org.
Legacy employees collected more than 6 lbs – 11,050 pieces – of cigarette butts in Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.