Cigarette Butt Pickup!

Last Saturday, on a cold, windy, wet day, some members of the Pacific Northwest Litter Project held a cigarette butt pick-up work party in the International District of Seattle.

Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter in the world and they are more toxic than you might think. The filters are NOT made of cotton, they are made of cellulose acetate tow and they can take decades to degrade. Investigators in a San Diego State University study once discovered that if you put fathead minnows and a single cigarette butt in a liter of water, half of the fish will die.

We pick up the butts to keep them out of landfills, waterways, the stomachs of animals and birds, and away from plants and children. The butts are sent to TerraCycle where they are turned into plastic pallets. Since the summer of 2011, we have picked up almost 300,000 butts!

As the result of last Saturday’s two hour work party, 23 pounds of cigarette butts are on their way to TerraCycle.

The Pacific Northwest Litter Project is part of GreenFriends, the environmental arm of Amma’s Embracing the World.


11 thoughts on “Cigarette Butt Pickup!

  1. Good job, Karuna!! I am sure there are plenty here who are not aware of the toxicity of cigarette butts…well, parents for sure should know…I used to go bonkers when the children were little if anyone might leave a butt on my lawn. Good idea to share this on my fb.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Here they’ve worked to get them out of the parks, to varying degrees of success, but most still end up in the places I mentioned in the article (i.e. landfill, waterways etc.)


      2. Most places don’t even have ashtrays anymore so they really have to go out of their way to not throw them on the ground. BTW The TerraCycle butt recycling started in Canada.


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