Apr 19, 2018

Finding cigarette butts scattered on the ground is one of my biggest pet peeves, and it’s only more infuriating when there’s a garbage can literally just a few steps away from the polluted area.

But this problem isn’t just annoying—cigarette butts can take anywhere between one to five years to decompose. That may not seem like a long time; in fact, compared to plastic bags, that’s a relatively short time for decomposition to take place.

nolisoli fixture SBMA Ecology Center subic cigarette butts smoking waste upcycle recycling
A frustrated beach goer collected this many cigarette butts within a 300 meter-stretch in Masasa Beach, Batangas.

But the thing is, there are a lot of smokers. Just take a walk around BGC, and you’ll find a group of smokers hanging around designated (or undesignated) smoking spots every hour of the day.

Multiply the nicotine-dependent individuals by the average number of sticks smoked in a day, and you’ve got a lot of cigarette butts. In fact, the number of cigarette butts littered worldwide every year is estimated at 4.5 trillion.

Cigarette butts littered like a bed of snow are unsightly as they are detrimental to the environment, and the members of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Ecology Center are trying to make the most out of this persistent problem.

nolisoli fixture SBMA Ecology Center subic cigarette butts smoking waste upcycle recycling
Can you guess how many cigarette butts are in that bag?

In a Facebook post that has since gone viral, the SBMA Ecology Center announced that they would be paying individuals for cigarette butts which they are hoping to find a way to upcycle.

At a rate of P300 per kilo, the organization wishes to maintain the cleanliness and health of Subic Bay, where litter (specifically cigarette butts) has become a growing concern.

nolisoli fixture SBMA Ecology Center subic cigarette butts smoking waste upcycle recycling
This is what approximately 20kg of cigarette butts look like.

The collection began on Mar. 5 and will end on May 4, or until they reach their goal of 60kg. As of Apr. 16, they’ve collected approximately 20kg.

If you happen to live within the vicinity, then you’d better start collecting cigarette butts while they’re still accepting.

 

Photos from SBMA Ecology Center. For more information, visit them on Facebook.

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TAGS: cigarette butts cigarettes nolisoli nolisoli.ph pollution Recycling SBMA Ecology Center subic upcycling