- Globally, approximately 4.3 trillion cigarette butts are littered every year.
- Smokers in the USA account for over 250 billion cigarette butts, in the UK 200 tonnes of butts are discarded, and Australian smokers litter over 7 billion cigarette butts annually.
- In most Western countries cigarette butt litter accounts for around 50% of all litter.
- Almost 1 in 3 cigarette butts end up as litter.
- It can take up to 12 years for a cigarette butt to break down.
- Cigarette butts can leach chemicals such as cadmium, lead and arsenic into our marine environment within an hour of contact with water.
- Cigarette butts have been found in the stomachs of fish, whales, birds and other marine animals which leads to ingestion of hazardous chemicals and digestive blockages.
Links to more facts:
Butting Out is Better for you and for the Environment
Cigarette Litter and How it Affects Us
Cigarette and street littering publications:
Alberta man frustrated with people throwing cigarette butts from vehicles
New rules mean cigarette litterers need to hold onto their butts
Yellowknife targets cigarette litter
City tells smokers where to put their butts
Cigarette butts biggest polluter of Canadian ocean shorelines
Bill 28, the Cigarette and Cigar Butt Litter Prevention Act