The San Diego Surfrider Foundation has been leading the way for years combating cigarette waste polluting our waters and beaches, by establishing and pushing the anti-cigarette butt litter campaign, Hold-On-To-Your-Butt. Fighting cigarette waste pollution squarely fits the SF’s mission to protect oceans, waves, and beaches.
There is real momentum building as the HOTYB Campaign ramps up public awareness, partners with communities to install ash cans in high foot-traffic areas, provides individual ashtrays to smokers, and expands the SF toll-free Hotline reporting butt-flickers in cooperation with the Calfornia Highway Patrol, 1-877-211-2888 (BUTT). Be ready to report butt-flickers: record 877-211-2888 in your phone and speed dial!
New scientific evidence shows that cigarette butt toxic substances kill marine organisms when leached into water. Common sense tells us the cumulative impact of toxic butt leachets in our waterways and oceans cannot be good. Do we really need proof to know that carcinogenic chemicals flowing down gutters to the oceans are bad for marine life, swimmers and surfers?
Also, cigarette butts can spark wildfires in dry climates like California and destroy lives and homes and cause unquantifiable stress and disruption to individuals, families, and communities. If the HOTYB Campaign and Hotline can prevent just one loss of life or destroyed home, it is all worth the effort.
The good news is that more people understand the problems caused by cigarette waste and view cigarette littering as totally unacceptable behavior. There is also a growing willingness to fight butt litter by forming coalitions among non-profits, the private sector, and municipal governments.
Finally, while we need everyone’s active support to stop butt-flickers and eliminate cigarette waste as a significant wildfire and environmental threat, let’s remember there is a simple tax-free solution: