266,000 and More to Come!

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Last Saturday, twelve of our local members of the PNW GreenFriends Litter Project met at Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill in Seattle.  Our goal, to pick up as many cigarette butts as we could in an hour and a half.  The Litter Project was formed in 2011.  Most of our members come from the Pacific Northwest part of the United States, but we also have members from other parts of the U.S. and around the world.

When I started picking up litter, I thought that cigarette filters were harmless cotton and often passed them by in favor of the bigger pieces of litter.  Soon I learned they were anything but harmless.  They are made from 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 top smelt in a liter of water that also contains a single cigarette butt, half of the fish will die. Continue reading “266,000 and More to Come!”