In 2005, 15 percent of San Diego County residents smoked, generating an estimated 5 million cigarette butts every day, and 1.8 billion cigarette butts every year. That’s enough to fill Sea World’s Shamu Stadium and Lagoon, to the brim, each and every year.
Cigarette Butts and the Environment
Cigarette butts, made of plastic cellulose acetate, take approximately 15 years to decompose. In the meantime, the toxins trapped in the filters leach into water sources.
Cigarette butts pose a dangerous health risk to marine animals and seabirds. They commonly swallow cigarette butts, which can cause death from choking or starvation.
Cigarettes are the leading cause of fire death, injury and property damage in the United States.