Aug 02, 2018
By Michael Kramer
Cigarettes and their filters account for almost 50 per cent of the waste – collected from volunteer shoreline cleanups in Vancouver and Victoria, BC.
That’s the latest from a study done by University of British Columbia researchers – who say the findings could help guide future waste management strategies – especially when it comes to reducing plastic pollution.
Study co-author Cassandra Konecny says cigarette filters are made of plastic – and when butts are dropped on the street – they move from drainage systems to the ocean and shorelines.
She says researchers studied data from 1,226 voluntary initiatives – organized as Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup events – and 80 to 90 per cent of the waste collected in BC was some form of plastic.
But while the types of plastic varied at different geographical locations – almost half the litter collected in the Vancouver and Victoria area was from cigarettes.
She says campaigns to ban single-use plastic straws are gaining attention – but the shoreline waste study points out that cigarette litter also is a major trouble spot.