Thank you Parry Sound 4-H Club and Sail Parry Sound. Both groups pitched in to help this week to pick up garbage around Waubuno Beach and the Rotary Fitness Trail. The good news is that relatively little garbage was picked up. There were a few large pieces of Styrofoam that had escaped from someone’s dock. Unfortunately the most common trash was cigarette butts. Probably the greatest myth surrounding cigarette butt littering is that because they’re so small, they are relatively harmless.
Each butt contains remnants of tobacco and paper, as well as the filter. Filters are actually made from plastic filaments. This degrades very slowly – anywhere between 2 months and 5 years, depending on exposure to air and water.
Cigarette filters are specifically designed to accumulate particulate smoke components, including toxic chemicals such as cadmium, lead, arsenic and zinc. Littered butts leach these chemicals as they decompose, contributing to soil and water pollution and impacting on wildlife habitat.
It is estimated that around one in ten cigarette butts ends up in our rivers, bays and waterways. Being little and lightweight, they are easily carried into our waterways.
Cigarette filters have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds, and other animals who mistake them for food, instead swallowing harmful plastic and toxic chemicals.
Please help out and ensure cigarette butts are disposed of properly and not left on our beautiful beach.