Watch your butts!
Cigarette butts contain all the carcinogenic chemicals, pesticides and nicotine that make tobacco use the leading cause of preventable death worldwide, yet trillions are dumped into the environment each year. Countless American smokers believe cigarette butts are an exception to the no littering rule because for some reason they think that cigarette butts are biodegradable. Most cigarette filters are composed of cellulose acetate which is a form of plastic. The white fibers in the cigarette filters which look like cotton is actually a plastic that does not degrade. Dozens of cities across the nation are fed up with this waste problem. Cities have passed bans on smoking on beaches and parks. In San Francisco, California the city applies a 33 cent a pack tax to cover the $11 million that the city spends annually removing the cigarette litter. Nationally cigarette butts account for 25% of litter on the streets.
I’ve been noticing that the number one littered item on campus appears to be cigarette butts. I predominantly find them more on the residential side compared to the academic side of campus. It’s very common to find them right outside entrances and exits of the dorms and especially at the designated smoking areas. The purpose of my project is to help keep the campus clean of this toxic waste. I plan to put Plastic Smoker’s Receptacle waste cans at almost every entrance of Stuyvesant Hall and one at the main entrance of Smith Hall. The brand that produces these waste cans is called ULINE and the cans themselves cost $48 but discounts may be applicable when purchased in bulk. These are the same cigarette cans the school has on the academic side of campus. There are some of these cigarette butt cans already on the residential side of campus, but they are either not conveniently placed or broken. So I need to find it is who is in charge of maintaining the cigarette butt trash cans and how I can get funding for the Plastic Smokers Receptacle.