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  Nr. 51 - August 2002
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August Eco Tip

by Nehama Weininger, August 2002
PROPERLY DISPOSE OF CIGARETTE FILTERS
(or "Bin Your Butts"!)

Most people who litter their cigarettes don't fully understand the consequences of their actions. But here are the facts:

* 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are discarded each year worldwide; more than any other single litter item.

* Composed of cellulose acetate, cigarette filters can take more than 5 years to decompose.

* Cigarette filters have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds, whales and other marine creatures poisoning their systems and blocking digestion.

* Toxic chemicals the cigarette filter was designed to trap, leach out in rain or into aquatic ecosystems, threatening the quality of the water and aquatic life. (Cigarette butts may seem small, but remember, at trillions of butts littered every year, the toxic chemicals add up!)

* Countless fires have been started by careless smoking and improperly disposed cigarette butts.


WHAT YOU CAN DO

* Smokers can take advantage of new products like pocket or portable ash trays (these are even available on Paros).

* In your home or business, provide convenient, ample receptacles for cigarette disposal.

* Encourage businesses which rent beach umbrellas to implement an ashtray system.

* Never discard cigarette butts in gardens or on the beach and never throw them into the sea or out of car windows.

For more information go to: www.cigarettelitter.org.
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