During our 20 minute clean up, I couldn't help but notice that the majority of cigarette butts were wet. Of course, wet cigarette butts make me think about the toxins that are released as soon as the littered butt hits the water... :(
The other day, my aunt called me to tell me about a boat cruise they went on in Lake Okoboji. She was so frustrated because when they stopped to go for a swim, she saw smokers throw their cigarette butts in the lake!! BUT... good news! My aunt took the time to write the company that did the cruise. Here's a bit of what she had to say:
"Cigarette butts are made of plastic and are not biodegradable. The filter is designed to trap toxins so when it hits the water, those toxins are released into the water. Which also means that they are no friend to the fish swimming below the surface. If you could PLEASE have ashtrays available and let riders know that if they have to smoke, not to throw them overboard. Thank you."
I'm happy to report that my aunt received an email from the company letting her know that they were "appalled that passengers would think it is okay to throw ANY type of trash into the Lake" and the issue was going to be addressed immediately. (YAY!!!)
My aunt isn't the only one paying attention to the cigarette butt litter problem. Daedra of Strawesome did a 20 minute beach clean up at Lake Michigan and picked up a pile of litter that included bottle caps, straws and over 300 cigarette butts! She writes: