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Where did you think it was going?

I don’t usually go on a rant but today I feel I have to.  The question above is one I think of so many times when I see idiots tossing their cigarette butts in the ocean or on the ground.

Where do they think it is going?  They don’t is the obvious answer as they obviously have no idea where they are going to end up.  It’s not like some magical fairy is going to come around behind you and dispose of it for you.

You see it all the time and it really makes me angry.  The worst is those who are out on the ocean and toss them overboard.  Most of the time these people are fishing.  Could you imagine catching a fish full of cigarette butts.  Wouldn’t taste very good.

But even if you are on land, if you don’t dispose of the butts correctly, they will usually find their way to the ocean.  So many of them wash up on beaches, the place we all love to spend time at.

The world produces approximately 5,000 billion cigarettes every year.  This is a massive problem if even a small percentage are discarded incorrectly.

A lot of people simply do not realise that a cigarette butt is full of plastic.  Yep that’s right plastic.  What did you think the filters were made of?

Hence every cigarette butt ever created still exists in some form somewhere in this world.  They will never disappear and throwing them on the ground or in the ocean only means it ends up in our environment, risking marine life and making our backyards, beaches and streets trash cans.  It’s just not right.

So how do you deal with it?  Should you get angry? Should you pick it up and stuff it back down their own throat? Should you put it in the bin for them?

I highly recommend you ask them one question……Where do you think that is going to end up?

Make them think about it even if it is briefly.  You will get more respect from asking this simple question than getting angry at them.  If they want to question you, tell them that next time their at the beach if they want to swim amongst their butts, if they want to eat fish full of butts.  And of course tell them that the filters are plastic as most people don’t realise this.

And my other favourite line especially when at home in the Whitsundays is ‘Enjoy it, don’t destroy it!’

Please share this around and let’s try and get the butts in the bin and out of our oceans.  If you have a work place where there are no ash trays, get some.  Make it easier for smokers to do the right thing.