San Diego County Chapter

Hold On To Your Butt


Did you know?

CIGARETTES make up an estimated 32% of litter cleaned from beaches annually…

It takes 25 years for a cigarette to decompose

We are making a difference

We prevent cigarette butt pollution by installing ashcans throughout San Diego County, which has produced an approximate 65% reduction in cigarette butt litter in those areas. We also distribute pocket ashtrays to smokers. Finally, we raise community awareness through events like our annual Hold On To Your Butt Day, and advocate for stronger law enforcement of litter laws.

Sponsor an Ashcan


The Hold On To Your Butt (HOTYB) program aims to raise awareness about the environmental impact of cigarette butt litter on our oceans, waves and beaches, and to help eliminate cigarette butt litter in San Diego County and beyond.  Cigarette butts account for approximately one in every five items collected during our beach cleanups.  Often littered on our sidewalks and streets, they end up in our storm drains, flowing to our streams, rivers, bays, lagoons and ultimately the ocean.

View Ashcan Locations


  • An estimated 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are disposed of in our environment annually worldwide.
  • Cigarette butts leach toxins when wet, posing a threat to marine life.
  • Litter clean up costs the U.S. over 11 billion annually, cigarette butts represent an estimated 32% of that litter.
  • Cigarette butts are composed of cellulose acetate, a non-biodegradable plastic, which can take up to 25 years to decompose.
  • Littered cigarette butts pose a significant fire threat.