With the failure of California Senate Bill 424 in the 2020 legislative session, it's time to take our efforts to ban San Diego County's #1 most littered item to the city councils.
Despite a smoking ban on all beaches countywide, numerous anti-cigarette litter campaigns (including our chapter’s own Hold Onto Your Butt program) and a dramatic decline in smoking’s popularity in California over the last 20 years, butts persist as the #1 item found at beach, roadside and neighborhood cleanups in San Diego County. Cigarette butts are highly toxic and made from plastic, which does not biodegrade in the natural environment. It is time to move beyond the “don’t litter” mentality and attack this problem at its source. Disposable cigarette filters are inherently wasteful by design, and must be stopped.
In 2019, our efforts revolved around supporting CA Senate Bill 424, the Tobacco Product Recyclability and Producer Responsibility Act. SB 424 would have effectively banned the sale of single-use cigarette filters in our state. Unfortunately, the bill failed to pass during the 2020 legislative session.
Therefore, we are pursuing efforts to pass a local version of this ordinance in the City of San Diego.