Cigarette butts are the target of a new public awareness campaign meant to draw attention to littering in the Czech capital.
“57.5 million cigarettes are smoked every day in the Czech Republic,” Envirostyl an environmental activist group, writes on its Facebook page.
“They mostly end up on the ground, which poses a problem not only visually but especially for the environment; the filters are composed of plastics, which gradually disintegrate into microscopic particles that pollute the water and the surrounding nature with microplastics. ”
Teaming up with BezVajglu.cz, which manufactures pocket and design ashtrays, the collective wants to ensure that parks, public spaces, and playgrounds in Prague remain free from cigarette butts.
The initiative recently kicked off a two-hour event in the business district of Karlín targeting, in particular, the areas around the bases of trees which have become default ashtrays for many of the city’s smokers.
After collecting an incredible 1,400+ butts, the groups hung small box-shaped ashtrays on neighborhood trees, encouraging smokers to throw away their butts in these sturdy receptacles as opposed to the bases of trees.
Flowers were planted under trees to bring new life to the street, with the group noting on its Facebook page: “Remember that ashes are not fertilizer, [butting out] does not benefit nature or the city.”
Czech Republic smoking stats:
- 2.3 million people smoke in the Czech Republic.
- 57.5 million cigarette butts are discarded daily.
- Cigarette butts contain hundreds of carcinogenic substances and several radioactive substances.
- Swallowing a cigarette butt can cause paralysis in children.
- One cigarette butt lasts for 15 years.