Cigarette Butt Litter Facts
- It takes 12 years for a cigarette butt to break down. During this time, toxic chemicals such as lead, cadmium and arsenic are leached into soil and rivers.
- The Central City Improvement District removes six thousand kilograms of cigarette butts each year to keep the Cape Town CBD clean.
- Cigarette butts are among the top 10 list of marine polluters
- Worldwide, cigarette butts are the most commonly collected items during cleanups
- Whales, Fish, birds, and other sea creatures mistake cigarette butts for food and filters have been found in the stomachs of these animals
- Discarded cigarette butts have been common culprits for fires in homes and forests. 1,000 lives are lost, and 3,000 people injured annually as a result of fires caused by cigarette butts.
- Nearly 1 in 3 cigarette butts are littered.
- Across the world, more than 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are littered annually, making them the most littered item.
- If all the littered cigarette butts were lined up, they would cover 9 million square kilometres.