UnSmoke Canada

by | Nov 2, 2022 | News | 0 comments

UnSmoke Canada
By: Sara Jose SWAT Crew Member

According to the World Wildlife Fund, cigarette butts are the most littered object in Canada. Despite popular belief, cigarette butts are not biodegradable, and are primarily made of plastic (Cellulose Acetate). Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world, with 5 trillion butts littered in the world each year. When cigarette butts are unproperly disposed of within our environment they dump not only the plastic, but also the nicotine, heavy metals, and many other dangerous chemicals into the surrounding area. The plastic part (cellulose acetate) of the filter can take up to 10 years to complete disintegrate, and the chemicals they release remain in the environment for many, many more years to come. Cigarette butts have been known to inhibit plant growth, and often enter our lakes and rivers releasing heavy metals and various chemicals into our waterways, posing a serious risk to humans and wildlife.

This summer Trout Unlimited Canada partnered with UnSmoke Canada and The Great Outdoors Fund to complete community cleanups within Southern Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. These community cleanups focused on areas adjacent to freshwater streams to prevent cigarette butts and other types of litter from entering our freshwater streams. Over the course of the summer TUC ran a total of 10 cleanup events across Canada, with approximately 157 participants coming to help. During these 10 cleanup events, a total of 2550 lbs of litter were collected over 333 hours and 2550 cigarette butts were removed from the environment.

 

UnSmoke Canada

Pictured: TUC ON SWAT Crew removing a mattress from Clythe Creek in Guelph Ontario

 

UnSmoke Canada

Litter removed from Clythe Creek by Ontario TUC SWAT Crew

 

UnSmoke Canada

Cigarette butts collected during cleanup

 

UnSmoke Canada

TUC Saugeen Headwaters Chapter during community cleanup event

Trout Unlimited Canada is a nonprofit, charitable organization. Donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.