Some forms of litter, such as cans, bottles, and paper, are easily recognized as harmful (and ugly), and many of us TreeHuggers willingly participate in helping to pick up and properly dispose of them. But there's another incredibly common type of litter that is just as harmful, perhaps even more harmful to the environment, wildlife, and waterways, but doesn't get nearly the same amount of attention from us: cigarette butts.
Cigarette butts, and other smoking-related litter, are some of the most deadly types of marine debris, and it's estimated that several trillion cigarette butts are littered worldwide every year. In fact, it's been argued that we need to treat cigarette buts as toxic waste, yet hundreds of millions of pounds of cigarette filters end up in the environment each year, just in the US alone.
Leaving aside the fact that in an ideal world where there were no smokers (or no smokers of filtered cigarettes) anymore, there would be no cigarette butt litter, and recognizing that as long as these cellulose acetate filters (or even "biodegradable filters") are in use, there needs to be a more viable solution to getting smokers to dispose of them properly. And a Dutch/Turkish design studio believes they may have the answer, in the form of a giant entertaining "smoke pole."
According to ioglo, the concept was conceived when their designers were walking through their town and saw a person picking up an empty soda can, yet all around them were cigarette butts that weren't being being picked up. The designers asked themselves, “why is there a growing sense of awareness when it comes to garbage, while cigarette litter is still so unaddressed?”.
Ioglo's Fumo project aims to make disposing of cigarette butts "an adventure," by using music and an LED light show on an interactive "smoke pole" to reward smokers that put their butts into the device:
"Each time a cigarette is tossed in, an energetic tune starts to play for 5 – 10 seconds and 56 LED’s start to perform a lively choreography to the music. The tune will vary per disposal as the smoke pole contains over 50 sound samples, ranging from a joyous gospel choir performance to Homer Simpsons ‘D’oh!’." - ioglo
While there is currently only the first version of Fumo out on the street, which was designed to be installed in public spaces, the company believes that with different designs, the device could be a great complement to other places, including train stations, malls, parks, hospitals, or movie theaters.
What do you think? Would this help you or any smokers you know to dispose of cigarette butts properly?