No butts about it, tossing your cigarette on the ground in the Lakeland is unacceptable.
You know the scene: you’re strolling past Moose Lake, listening to the birds and suddenly you have to walk across a bunch of discarded cigarette butts.
The M.D. of Bonnyville Waste Manager, Brad Ollen, took to social media recently to chat about butting out correctly.
“This week we’re talking about cigarette butts,” Ollen said. “Cigarette litter is a huge problem, cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world and make up about 38 per cent of all litter globally collected, and an estimated 65 per cent of all cigarette butts are tossed on the ground instead of being placed in an ashtray for proper disposal.”
Ollen says this equates to over 8000 tons of garbage. That’s nearly three times the amount of garbage, the 13,000 M.D. of Bonnyville residents dispose of in a year.
“You don’t have to look hard to see a butt littering the ground, but what’s the big deal? What will happen if you throw your butts on the ground? The answer is nothing,” Ollen said. “As long as it’s out.”
Cigarette butts will never biodegrade Ollen says.
“Although they appear to be, they’re actually made of plastic fibers called cellulose acetate and will not decompose naturally,” Ollen said. “Cigarette butts contain toxic chemicals from the cigarette itself, and when they end up in storm drains and ditches, those chemicals along with the microplastics from the butt will leach into the rivers and lakes we all enjoy.”
Cigarette butts are a huge hazard for our Lakeland environment and cause most roadside fires.
“Cigarettes on the ground are harmful, dangerous, and ugly,” Ollen said. “If you smoke, please dispose of your cigarettes properly by using a pocket ashtray, or other safe disposal options. Let’s be part of the solution, not the pollution.”