Resolution: Ban the Butt


photo credit Melsky

OK, personal resolutions don't always work, but what about some national ones? Now that even France bans smoking inside, when are we going to do something about the butt problem outside?

According to Torontoist: "An American study showed that, worldwide, smokers toss at least 4.5 trillion butts on the ground every year, and that's not only revolting to look at, but causes significant environmental damage. Cigarette filters are made of non-biodegradable polymer acetate (read: plastic), and discarded butts start fires, kill small animals, and are the most common item washing up on beaches. A 2006 City of Toronto litter audit [PDF] found that cigarette butts were the fourth most common small litter item, after chewing gum, paper, and glass pieces."

Perhaps Singapore goes too far- "To maintain the clean and green city, there are strict laws against littering of any kind. First-time offenders face a fine of up to S$1,000. For repeat offenders--it's a fine of up to S$2,000 and a Corrective Work Order (CWO). The CWO requires litterbugs to spend a few hours cleaning a public place, for example, picking up litter in a park. The litterbugs are made to wear bright jackets, and sometimes, the local media are invited to cover the public spectacle. Naturally, the authorities hope that public shame will make diehard litterbugs think twice about tossing their scrap paper or cigarette butt on the roadside."

But how about some enforcement of littering laws that we have? How about providing ashtrays in front of bars, restaurants and hospitals where everyone is smoking?

Tags: Waste