Tobacco vs Planet, you won't like who’s winning…
If we were to ask you, what is the most common form of plastic pollution, what would you say? Plastic bags? bottles? Straws?
There’s certainly a large amount of plastic waste within these 3 but they don't even come close to guess what? Cigarette butts. Yes, cigarette butts. It is common knowledge to think that cigarette buts are made out of cotton or paper but it couldn't be further from the truth. Cigarette butts are primarily plastic!
What are they made of and why is it harmful?
Cigarette butts are super small and tend to go unnoticed and uncared about, but they are hiding in plain sight almost everywhere. Cigarette butts are far from being harmless as their main material is Cellulose Acetate, a man-made plastic containing hundreds of toxic chemicals. Cigarette butts are the most abundant form of plastic waste in the world. With near enough 4.5 trillion individual butts polluting our global environment, it is the reigning reason for plastic pollution.
Once they are stubbed out and dropped on our precious green earth, they start releasing thousands of toxic chemicals into the environment. Some of the lingering toxic chemicals worth mentioning are Arsenic (a chemical element used in car batteries and ammunition), Formaldehyde (a highly toxic systemic poison), and Lead (a poison that attacks the brain in severe ways).
The stubborn plastic butts can take up to a decade to decompose and the toxic chemicals that live in them can even live in the environment for years after the life of the butt itself!
They find their way into mainstream waterways and oceans, travel into plantlife inhibiting their growth and it is even known to be found inside sea animals such as seagulls, turtles, fish, and dolphins.
Is it acceptable to treat our planet this way?
What we can do to be better
Smokers around the world buy roughly 6.5 trillion cigarettes each year. That’s 18 billion every day, resulting in smokers stubbing out nearly 800,000 tonnes of cigarettes each year!
But who cleans it up? Generally speaking, nobody does. But that's not stopping the people who really care. We thankfully have huge non-profit organizations such as The Great Global Cleanup and National Geographics, Plastic: Sea to Source taking a step towards the right direction armed with millions of volunteers around the world who are passionate about treating our planet the way it should be.
At Riots Labs, we are doing our part for the planet we call home by becoming a fully carbon-negative company. In 2021 we became the world's first carbon-negative e-cigarette business. By removing twice as much carbon as we emit, we are leading the fight against plastic waste disposal in the vape industry. The mission we have chosen to accept is to become the planet's answer to smoking cessation and to STOP TOBACCO FOR GOOD!
Planet or Plastic?
The billions upon billions of items of plastic waste choking our oceans, lakes, and rivers and piling up on land killing our plants and wildlife are more than heartbreaking. We are in a worldwide epidemic of plastic pollution and we choose to ignore what the main cause is.
It is imperative to ensure that cigarette butts find their way to the waste bin or are sent to a recycling facility. But we like the far better option of having a smoke-free world in which cigarettes are no more!
If you're not a smoker yourself, you can encourage others to do their part as well by reminding people of the dangers of smoking. We are calling YOU to action to stand with us against the big bad tobacco. Share below to do your part!