Cigarette butts, the No. 1 most-littered item, are impacting plant growth

July 22, 2019 by  
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In the frenzy to ban plastic utensils, foam containers, straws and single-use bags, the world’s No. 1 most-littered item has been mostly ignored: cigarette butts. Perhaps because they are small in size, two out of every three cigarettes are simply flung to the ground rather than properly disposed of. This adds up to 4.5 trillion cigarette butts every year piling up in parks, cities and oceans. New research suggests that the butts are not just unsightly; they are also negatively impacting plants. A study published in Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety compared plants grown in soil containing cigarette butts with a group of control plants and found a significant difference. The plants grown in dirt with cigarettes had shoots that were up to 25 percent shorter with root biomass that was up to 60 percent smaller. Similar studies from as early as 1913 found similarly negative effects of cigarette smoke on plants , but few focus on the impact of butts within the soil. Related: California’s “Butt Lady” picks up 1M littered cigarette butts in 3.5 years Cigarettes are actually biodegradable but can take years to decompose. In the meantime, the discarded butts are filled with chemicals that, at this point, everyone knows are toxic and carcinogenic. Since the 1980s, urban and coastal clean-up events have reported that between 30 to 40 percent of the litter collected is typically cigarette butts. It is clearly a major issue in terms of pollution and waste, so why aren’t people outraged by it? Some environmental advocates argue that filters should be banned completely, since they have negligible health benefits to the smoker. Others argue that a deposit-and-return system could be established, where smokers must return their used butts in order to reclaim a deposit. This scheme seems fairly unlikely, but so did bans on plastic bags or diapers — yet municipalities and countries have successfully put them into effect. + Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety Via Phys.org Image via Pixabay

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Cigarette butts, the No. 1 most-littered item, are impacting plant growth

Meet Cig, the sea turtle made of over 1,000 cigarette butts strewn on a Florida beach

January 10, 2017 by  
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Cig is a sea turtle that looks rather cute until you take a closer look to see what he’s actually made of—1,200 repulsive cigarette butts . The striking trash-inspired sculpture is the work of Shelly Marshall, a self-taught artist and founder of SHELLart , who uses art to spread the message about the threats facing marine life and ecosystems. Together with Ocean Hour volunteers, she spent less than an hour collecting over a thousand cigarette butts strewn across Florida’s Pensacola Beach and rearranged the tiny bits of trash to create Cig the sea turtle and bring awareness to the impact of littering. Although litter control laws and public service announcements on recycling have made big impacts on the way society deals with trash, the same can’t really be said about cigarette butts. Ocean Hour, the Pensacola-based marine debris committee that stages local cleanups at the beach every Saturday, found that cigarette butts were always one of the top three local pollutants year after year. Thus, Shelly was inspired to make an art piece that would communicate the anti-litter message in a more eye-catching way. “I wanted to create something eye-catching that was both interesting and repulsive at the same time,” said Shelly to Inhabitat. “Cig the sea turtle shows the harmful effect cigarette butts have on marine life that most of us don’t get the chance to see. Those little tiny pieces of trash add up and many butts contain microplastics that interrupt the ecosystem. Most people don’t know that it can contain up to ten years for one tiny butt to decompose. We hope that Cig will spread this message and will encourage people to pick up cigarette butts and even more people to not throw them down!” Related: Artist turns urban trash into amazing animal murals Cig the sea turtle was made from a lightweight cardboard base and covered with roughly 1,200 cigarette butts attached using clear glue. The glue, Shelly adds, helped to cover up some of the smell from the trash. The artist is working with Ocean Hour to collect different kinds of trash in hopes of creating a series of marine sculptures made from commonly found debris. Her next artwork will be a bottlenose dolphin constructed of reclaimed plastic bottles . Cig will be on display at the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Center for the month of February. + SHELLart Images via SHELLart

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Meet Cig, the sea turtle made of over 1,000 cigarette butts strewn on a Florida beach

FDA Proposes New E-Cigarette Regulations That Ban Sales to Minors

April 29, 2014 by  
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Last week the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a 241-page proposal that would for the first time impose federal regulations on the use of battery-powered electronic cigarettes — a booming industry that is seen by many as a healthy alternative to conventional cigarettes because vapor is used instead of smoke, which is linked to lung cancer. The rules also cover currently unregulated tobacco products such as cigars, pipe tobacco and hookahs. The regulations would ban sales to minors under 18, and they require producers of cigars and e-cigarettes to register with the FDA and submit ingredients, manufacturing processes and scientific data to the agency. Read the rest of FDA Proposes New E-Cigarette Regulations That Ban Sales to Minors Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: big tobacco , cigarettes , e-cigarettes , electronic cigarettes , fda , Food and Drug Administration , Health , lung cancer , regulations , rules , smoke , vapor

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FDA Proposes New E-Cigarette Regulations That Ban Sales to Minors

Unexplained Holes Capable of Swallowing a Human Appear at National Park Sand Dunes

April 29, 2014 by  
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The Park Service has to close down portions of parks all the time for wide range of reasons, but this is the first time we have heard of one being shut down because it can swallow a person whole. Officials have announced the indefinite closure of a large sand dune near Lake Michigan known as Mount Baldy after mysterious quicksand-like holes began opening up in dune. Last summer one of the holes swallowed a 6-year old boy as he crossed the sand, and though rescuers were luckily able to recover the boy  at this point no one is sure why the holes have appeared or what can be done to stop them. Read the rest of Unexplained Holes Capable of Swallowing a Human Appear at National Park Sand Dunes Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Erin Argyilan , erosion , erosion Mount Baldy , Lake Michigan erosion , Lake Michigan national parks , Lake Michigan sand dune holes , manmade soil erosion , Mount Baldy , Mount Baldy closed , Mount Baldy dune , Mount Baldy holes , Mount Baldy Indiana Dunes , Mount Baldy Lake Michigan , Mount Baldy mysterious holes , Mount Baldy park , Mount Baldy quicksand , Mount Baldy sinkholes , National Park Service , sand dunes , soil erosion

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Unexplained Holes Capable of Swallowing a Human Appear at National Park Sand Dunes

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