Litter includes cigarette butts

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The remnant of a cigarette seems like such a small thing. And while they really are the smaller part of a larger item, when they are discarded on the ground, they are litter all the same.

What’s worse is the filters are composed of substances that don’t biodegrade. So, when so many of such a small thing gather in one place, such as at a busy intersection in a municipality, their long life leads to a bunch of ugly cigarette butts gathered in a pile.

These filters are made of a type of plastic, a substance notorious for not being biodegradable.

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Just take a look at most any intersection within Pearl River County. Really look at the asphalt and you will see a collection of cigarette waste that appears to have been there for weeks, months and even years.

With so much community outcry for a cleaner Pearl River County, why is it still a common sight to witness a motorist or passenger drop a cigarette butt out of a vehicle window, especially when placing it in the vehicle’s ashtray seems just as convenient?

These unsightly pieces of waste litter yards, streets and eventually end up in waterways. And all waterways eventually go to the ocean.

According to, only 10 percent of cigarette butts end up in the trash where they belong. The majority of them end up at transition points, or areas where people are required to extinguish cigarettes before entering, such as a public building.

The excuse given for dropping filters on the ground is that there are not enough receptacles available at transition points to safely dispose of the waste. So maybe there’s something that can be done in that regard. But when these items are disposed of out of a vehicle’s window, there’s no excuse.