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Shvoong Home>Science>Ecology>My Battle Against Cigarette Butts Summary

My Battle Against Cigarette Butts

Article Summary   by:Josie2507     Original Author: melpol
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My Battle Against Cigarette Butts


Every sidewalk and gutter is full of cigarette butts. Our parks and forests are littered with trash and the worst kind is cigarette butts. We stand helplessly buy and watch people throw them out car windows or just flip them on the sidewalk. But most of us are not aware of the real danger that cigarette butts pose..

A lit cigarette can ignite a forest fire
Cigarette butts can take 25 years to break down due to cellulose acetate in the filters
Butts can release toxic substances including arsenic, cadmium and lead into water as they breakdown
Animals sometimes mistake cigarettes for food which can give them digestive problems.
Besides that, cigarette butts are an eyesore.

I am retired and have chosen to spend my last years doing something useful for the country that was so good to me. Every morning I go out into the streets with two burlap bags and a pick. I don’t return until those two bags are filled with cigarette butts. Some times it is a twelve hour day and I never take a rest. Sunday I spend examining the sidewalks and gutters preparing myself for the job that has to be done the next day. When I return home I am happy to know that my day was spent helping to make my city a cleaner place.

There is only one way to attack the problem and clean up the environment and that is to have a labor force of men and women who will go through the sidewalks, gutters and parks picking up those disgusting cigarette butts. The problem is that it would take millions of hands to pick up the more than a trillion butts that are discarded each year. We are in luck because there is a labor force willing to do the job.. There are millions of people that have lots of time available to pick up those butts. All the government has to do is purchase each sack of butts that is turned in. It wont be a much different system than the one used to pick up cans.

Until something is done by the government to rid the streets and sidewalks of those nasty looking butts I will continue doing the job by myself. What frustrates me is that there are more cigarette butts in front of my house than when I started six years ago. I suspect that my neighbors are throwing them there in an attempt to drive me insane.
Published: March 31, 2008   
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