Cigarette ends are difficult to clean up, as the small filters fall into grates and cracks in the pavement, avoiding detection by normal cleaning processes. The filters are made of a plastic that can take a long time to break down and be absorbed back into the environment. Here are some other facts:
- 120 tonnes of cigarette litter is dropped in the UK every day.
- In the UK, cigarette butts account for around 40 per cent of litter, in the rest of the world, they account for around 50 per cent of all litter.
- A cigarette butt contains up to 4,000 chemicals including hydrogen, cyanide and arsenic.
- Cigarette filters can take up to 12 years to degrade.
- It takes one second to drop a cigarette butt. If it took the same time to pick it up again, it would take one person (working eight hours a day) nearly 20 years to collect the estimated 200 million cigarette butts that are thrown away in the UK each day.