Cigarettes are the number-one most littered item around the world. In Canada alone, an estimated 8000 tonnes of cigarette butts are littered into our environment each year.
Ninety percent of commercial cigarettes have a filter composed of cellulose acetate, a type of plastic. Plastics do not break down but instead undergo a process called photodegradation, where light breaks the plastic into smaller and smaller pieces. With 8,000 tonnes of cigarette butts disposed of in our environment every year, these tiny butts are causing a large problem.
Cigarette butts also contain hazardous waste, which is harmful to human and wildlife health. They contain over 4000 toxic chemicals including tar, arsenic, heavy metals, PAHs, lead and other harmful substances, and approximately 70 of these chemicals are carcinogenic to both humans and animals . It is believed that nearly 7,800 tonnes of harmful chemicals are leached into the environment every single year from cigarette butt litter.
If you see one of these at a local beach or park, be sure to properly dispose of your cigarette butts safely in the designated receptacle.
These receptacles are maintained by the Town of Blue Mountain and GBF. All cigarette butts are collected, stored, and sent pack to TerraCycle to be recycled.
Our mission here at GBF is to protect the water through education and scientific research.
We want to help you put your cigarette waste in the right place!
TerraCycle is a recycling company that tackles hard-to-recycle items that our municipal waste systems cannot recycle. They recycle anything from coffee pods, contact lenses, oral care products, disposable razors, cigarette butts, and more. Best of all, their programs are free to use for homeowners, businesses, communities, and schools.
Tackling pollution requires a collaborative approach! During the Summer of 2022, we hosted a total of 35 successful cleanups along the shorelines of Georgian Bay including weekly cleanups in Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, and Thornbury, and collected a total of 7461 cigarette butts. This waste is coming from our residents, tourists, and beachgoers, and only smokers can help stop the littering of cigarette butts in our community.
GBF has partnered with the Town of Blue Mountains to install five cigarette butt receptacles at popular beach and park locations to cut down on cigarette-related litter.
Project Manager, Divert and Capture
905-880-4945 ext. 6