My eyes followed the cigarette butt as it hit the ground. The village idiot casually stepped on the butt. The Alabama River was just fifty-yards away. Clinching my fists, I walked on.
Sportsmen as a whole are the best conservationists in the world. However, we have our bad apples that pitch cigarette butts anywhere they stand. The irony is worse than a bitter pill. This is not a small problem. Made with cellulose acetate, a form of plastic, cigarette butts last over nine years. Some experts disagree and estimate 20-years. Each butt is like a little poison vial in the environment. According to our friends at Recycled Fish, “Used cigarette butts leach toxins that can disrupt micro-organisms. Toxins tend to work their way up. Help keep the toxins out of the food chain, dispose of your cigarette butts properly.”
The BoatUS Foundation reported a 63% decrease in cigarette litter around 43 marinas. These marinas participated in its 2010, Cigarette Litter Prevention Program.
A quote from Cigarettelitter.org says; “Each year more than 1 billion pieces of litter will accumulate on Texas highways. Of those, 13 percent are cigarette butts. That means 130 million butts will be tossed out in Texas alone this year.” -Texas Department of Transportation
If run-off is the biggest polluter for our lakes and rivers; then litter will certainly end up downstream.
Yes, I smoke and enjoy every one of them. Then I knock the fire off and pocket the butt. Do you know someone that litters cigarette butts? Share this blog with them ask if they care about our fisheries and the waters, they live in. Blessings, -TJ