Cigarettes have been marketed as glamorous for the girls and macho for blokes…. anyone happy to set something in their mouth on fire has got to be a ‘cool and can-do’ type! Unfortunately, due to choices many of these people make, hundreds of thousands of cigarette butts enter the Bay each year via stormwater drains; and some see no problem in tossing butts on beaches. When the tosser is long gone their butts are here to stay, up to 15 years according to some sources.
Butts aren’t just an aesthetic problem. Their filters,made of plastic filaments, trap particulates including arsenic; and butts have been found in the stomachs of a range of marine animals. The good news is that some people are doing something about it. Residents of Albert Park have formed the 3206 Beach Patrol, with each member pledged to spend an hour a month picking up litter from their beach. It’s great to see community action such as this… so simple it works! Hopefully other communities around the bay will pick up on the idea!