November 4, 2019

Vancouver Litter Cleanup encourages proper cigarette disposal

Did you know cigarette butts are the most frequently littered item? According to Keep America Beautiful, tobacco products make up 38% of all U.S. litter. Cigarette butts do not disappear. Cigarette filters are made up of cellulose acetate, a plastic that does not degrade over time. All smokers should be responsible and for us nonsmokers, adding cigarette-only trashcans can help. We all can make our world a better and safer place to live.

Reasons why we need to reduce the littering of cigarette butts:

  1. It can prevent fires

Cleaning up cigarette butts not only means reducing litter but prevents fires. Disposing of them properly reduces wildfires which is a huge problem every single year according to AccuWeather. Whether wildfire or structural, cigarette butts are the leading cause of most fires, this could happen to you.

2. They contaminate drinking water and harm wildlife

With improper disposal and rain in the gutter’s, cigarette butts end up in our water releasing harmful chemicals. It not only contaminates our drinking water but also can be ingested by birds, fish, or many other animals and the toxicity can travel up the food chain. Vancouver Litter Cleanup places more trashcans all around the city with every donation received. These cigarettes put into the cans are recycled.

3. Plastic cannot be disposed of but can be recycled

Cigarette butts are the most frequently littered item due to smoker’s concern for starting trash fires. Cigarette butts do not decay because they are plastic, which is extremely hard to get rid of. Last year, our team of volunteers collected and recycled 300,000 cigarette butts. The cigarettes butts were recycled and sent off to a company that uses them to make park benches and tables for the community!

About Vancouver Litter Cleanup

Our mission is to clean up the streets all over Vancouver, Washington. This can start with reducing the litter of cigarette butts that are left on the streets. We are dedicated to encouraging good recycling behavior by picking up cigarette butts and placing more cigarette only trash cans on every street crossing. To volunteer or find out more information visit us at