The chemicals that leak from a cigarette butt could be toxic enough to kill 50% of the saltwater and freshwater fish exposed for 96 hours. This percentage was calculated by experiments in which butts were submerged in a litre of water for 24hours.
But even these are “only a portion of the environmental harm caused by the tobacco industry,” explained Stop, as tobacco is not only “grown on deforested lands” but its production “degrades soil and pollutes air, land and water.” The organization explained that sadly, billions of trees are chopped down yearly to produce cigarettes, accounting for 5% of global deforestation.
UK tobacco companies urged to take action
Meanwhile, UK Environment Minister Rebecca Pow has warned local tobacco companies to do something about the millions of cigarette butts littering the local streets, or else face tougher laws.
Minister Pow has summoned the major players in the industry focusing her fire on the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association and cigarette giants Philip Morris and Japan Tobacco International, which owns the Silk Cut, Camel and Benson & Hedges brands. “If we cannot progress this discussion… we will have to reflect on what steps the Government can take to ensure the tobacco industry takes increasing responsibility for the litter its products create,” she said in a letter addressed to the tobacco firms.
Read Further: The West Australian