• Michael Stachowitsch


It is as contentious a matter as dog poop on the sidewalk, but clearly more lethal. Trillions of cigarettes made each year means trillions of butts somewhere. Each is a miniature toxic bomb (if you don’t believe it, drop one into your aquarium at home, and see what happens). And counter to popular belief, they are made largely of plastic, not paper. Cigarette butts crown the “top 10” list of international beach cleanups each and every year by a very wide margin. People who leave butts on the beach should have their behinds butted. These folks also tend to leave behind the full range of smoking paraphernalia. “Empty” lighters are case in point. Make it a family contest. Who can find more of the most common items along your favorite stretch of beach: lighters, straws, bottle caps, bottles or maybe clothespins, shotgun shells, or other characteristic beach litter? Winner takes all (home!).


Cigarette butts Cigarette filters Lighters Cigars Cigarette packs Toxic waste Lung cancer Smoking bans 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Stachowitsch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Limnology and Bio-OceanographyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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