Cigarette Butts or Filters and Littering
Cigarette butt litter on public beaches, sidewalks, and parks is disgusting, but its everywhere. From smokers tossing used filters on the ground to a lack of disposal bins in public areas, the refuse of cigarette smoking can be found everywhere, especially in cities.
This littering problem is an environmental issue. Cigarette filters are designed to capture smoke particles; this tar accumulates in the filters. The litter often ends up in waterways via storm drains. Chemicals absorbed in filters then leech into fresh water systems killing organisms and polluting the environment. Waste that ends up in the soil leeches chemicals into it the ground. Wouldn't it be great if recycling cigarette butts was possible? It is!
Cigarette filters are mainly made out of cellulose, a natural fiber. They are processed into cellulose acetate, which is a synthetic plastic. This material will decompose, depending on the size of your compost pile it can take from 5 months to 3 years to break down. Why would you chuck cigarette butts into your compost pile? Won't the chemicals in cigarette butt litter destroy all the bacteria needed to break down the organic matter?
With a few simple steps you are able to harness these chemicals and transform them into a pesticide for your garden. Then you can compost the "clean" filters. Even if you choose to dispose of them, you are disposing of a much less toxic product.