Ask cigarette companies to switch to biodegradable filters

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Did you know that cigarette filters are actually made of plastic?! They are composed of Cellulose acetate, the same material in most sunglasses. They degrade after up to 12 years eventually ending up as Micro-plastics and Microfibers which end up in our waterways! To date, only Swan brand filter tips do biodegradable filters, yet they are not even available in all shops! There have been vast campaigns across the UK to prevent smokers littering; these include fines, advertisements and extra bins for cigarette disposal. However, this is not entirely halting the problem of cigarette related waste and plastic filter tips are still ending up in the environment as Microplastics in our seas and soils! The problem has to be approached from a different angle, by encouraging UK tobacco companies to produce products with biodegradable filters. This will prevent the problem of plastic waste in the environment where littering campaigns have seemingly failed!

  • In the UK, 120 tonnes of cigarette related litter is discarded on our streets every day
  • Cigarettes account for over 40% of street litter
  • They are the most common item recovered in beach cleanups
  • 4.5 trillion (approx.) cigarette butts are littered worldwide each year
  • They are the most littered item on the planet!
  • Cigarette filters can take up to 12 years to degrade
  • Every day UK smokers throw away about 200 million butts


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