Cigarette butts are a serious cause of litter and a nuisance to pick up. They are one of the top single-use plastics and Environment and Climate Change Canada and Health Canada identify these butts as the most frequently found microplastic in aquatic environments.
In an effort to address the issues of pollution, chemical leaching, and microplastics, the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association Waste Reduction Group (SLNA-WRG) has partnered with the waste management company TerraCycle and members of the St. Lawrence Market Business Improvement Area to pilot a cigarette butt–recycling project.
This initiative involves the installation and servicing of butt receptacles outside neighbourhood businesses, two of which are located adjacent to C’est What. Rather than simply being sent to landfill, the collected butts are then recycled by TerraCycle.
Cigarette butts are actually the most abundant form of plastic waste in the world, with about 4.5 trillion individual butts polluting our global environment. As the most littered item on earth, they produce an estimated 1.69 billion pounds of toxic garbage each year.
The SLNA-WRG encourages all residents and visitors to the St. Lawrence area to keep an eye out for these new receptacles and, whenever possible, to make use of them. Placing your cigarette butts in these new receptacles is a small step you can take to reduce your environmental footprint while keeping your environment and fellow community members healthy and safe!