Thinking that cigarette butts are biodegradable is a myth. The paper and the tobacco in a cigarette are biodegradable but the cellulose acetate filters are not. Cigarette butts impact both children and animal life. Is there finally a way to recycle them for good use?
Cigarette Butts are Environmental Hazards
According to geologist Michael Reilly, cigarette butts have been found to be toxic to both freshwater and saltwater fish. In a Nov. Discovery News article, “Cigarette Butts Toxic to Fish,” just a small amount of tobacco (not burned), that has been soaking for a day in one liter of water, produces enough toxins to kill 50% of the fish swimming in it. News.discovery.com.
Cigarette butts are also toxic to children. A study published in the Pediatrics journal showed that almost 14,000 children experienced some form of nicotine poisoning between 2014-2016. Of the 13,705 reported cases of nicotine poisoning, 10,600 were caused by cigarettes or filter tips with 70% of incidents occurring in kids less than 12 months old.