NATIONAL BLITZ THE BUTT DAY

SATURDAY 24th AUGUST 2019

Help Jason pick up 1 million cigarette butts to highlight the dangers of flicking cigarette butts on the ground. This year’s National Blitz The Butt Day is taking place on Saturday 24th August 2019.

It’s easy to take part…

COLLECT

Grab a bucket/bag, gloves and litter picker and collect as many cigarette butts as you can.

Then count them. If you don’t want to count every single one we’ll provide a couple of guides on how to accurately estimate quantity.

SHARE

Take a photo and share with @UKrubbishwalks on social media using the hashtag #BlitzTheButt.

Place the number of butts you collected in brackets after the hashtag and your location.

Like this…

@UKrubbishwalks #BlitzTheButt (3478) Ipswich

DISPOSE / RECYCLE

Gather all the cigarette butts you collect and dispose of them in your general waste or recycle them in the most appropriate manner.

Check out the latest information on recycling below.

LATEST UPDATE REGARDING RECYCLING OR DISPOSAL OF CIGARETTE BUTTS

Updated 15/08/19

In theory cigarette butts can be recycled but it isn’t quite as simple as that at the moment. There is currently no local infrastructure to recycle cigarette waste. However, there is an innovative recycling company called TerraCycle offering two solutions to recycle cigarette waste.

The first solution is their FREE cigarette butt recycling programme. Please note though that this programme is at full capacity at the moment and does not currently accept new members.

However, if you are already an existing member of the Cigarette Waste Recyling Programme, you can continue to send your collected cigarette waste into the programme.

The second solution is part of their paid for Zero Waste Box Services.

A Zero Waste Box provides solutions for difficult-to-recycle waste that cannot be recycled through regular municipal recycling. A small Cigarette Waste Zero Waste Box for cigarette waste that holds approx. 5,300 cigarette butts (a bit less than a standard builder’s bucket) costs £128.35.

The collected waste will be shredded and separated. The plastic (such as the cigarette filters) will undergo pelletisation and extrusion to be moulded into various recycled plastic products. The paper will be recycled and the tobacco and other organics will be composted.

When I chat to people about Terracycle I’m regularly asked “Why is there a cost associated with recycling through their Zero Waste services, particularly cigarette butts?” I always refer to this interesting and informative blog article from the Terracycle blog. Well worth a read: https://terracycleblog.co.uk/2018/07/27/why-do-zero-waste-boxes-cost-money/

For further information on the free recycling programmes and the Zero Waste Box services, please contact TerraCycle directly, either on their free phone number: 0800 0470 984 or email them at: customersupport@terracycle.co.uk.

So, there are currently four choices for what to do with collected cigarette butts. 1) If you are already signed up to the free Terracycle scheme you can send off your collected cigarette butts for recycling. 2) You could send collected cigarette butts to Terracycle as part of their paid for scheme. 3) You could store your collected cigarette butts in sealed containers in the hope that new cigarette waste programmes become available in the future. 4) You could dispose of the cigarette butts in your general waste.

Whatever option is most appropriate for you it’s important to remember that every one of those cigarette butts collected are no longer littering your neighbourhood, are no longer leaching chemicals into the environment and are no longer going to find their way into our rivers and oceans.

 

WHY DO SMOKERS DROP THEIR BUTTS?

HOW TO COUNT COLLECTED CIGARETTE BUTTS

BUTT WHY SHOULD I CARE?

See above for latest update on disposal or recycling of cigarette butts.

BUTT WHY SHOULD I CARE?

BECAUSE CIGARETTE BUTTS ARE LITTER.

Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter on the planet. You are never more than a few paces away from a handful of discarded butts. Trillions are dropped every single year in our cities, towns, villages and countryside. Wherever you find people you will find cigarette butts. Lots of them.

Broken Window Theory suggests that if an area is seen to be covered in litter then this will highly likely lead to more littering. This is especially true for cigarette butts. If smokers see an area is covered in discarded cigarette butts – outside entrances to buildings, by seating areas, at pedestrian crossings, car parks etc. – then they are more likely to throw their cigarette butts on the ground too. This issue increases when there is no clear bin provided and ineffective signage is used.

If there is also seen to be a lack of enforcement in an area (dropping cigarette butts is a littering offence and can lead to fines of £80 or more) then smokers feel there will be no consequences for dropping their cigarette butts. They’ll get away with it.

We need to find a way to nudge smokers to ‘do the right thing’.

 

BECAUSE CIGARETTE BUTTS ARE PLASTIC POLLUTION.

Cigarette filters are made from a form of plastic called cellulose acetate. It is suggested that there are 4.5 trillion cigarette butts dropped in the environment every single year. This is a hard figure to verify but it’s safe to say that the figure is in the trillions.

That’s a staggering amount and a difficult number to visualise. Consider this… that’s way more stars than there are in our galaxy and if you were to lay every cigarette butt dropped in a year end to end they would stretch to the moon and back more than 150 times!

Now consider that a cigarette butt can take 10 years or more to break down. That means that there are likely 30+ trillion cigarette butts in the environment right this second. All potentially breaking up into smaller and smaller pieces.

Polluting our rivers and oceans. Killing wildlife and vegetation. Entering the food chain and therefore impacting the health of smokers and non smokers alike.

SCARY STUFF!

BECAUSE CIGARETTE BUTTS ARE TOXIC.

Cigarette butts are not only made of plastic, they are also filled with toxic chemicals. Over 6,000 of them. 50+ have been proven to be carcinogenic to humans and many more are deadly to wildlife.

It’s suggested that the chemicals found in just one cigarette butt can leach out and contaminate approximately 7.5 liters of water within one hour. This contaminated water is lethal to aquatic life.

Download The Poster

Download the poster to share with your friends, family and local groups to find volunteers to help on the day.

Feel free to print out or share on your website or social media.

Low Ink Version

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