A Big Butt Problem

Are plastic bags still allowed where you live ?

Our island has banned them. They caused 2% of our plastic pollution.

However, we have a big butt problem here. Every year trillions of cigarettes are smoked globally, and most of the butts, or (filters) are disposed of improperly. Islands, like ours, are greatly affected by butts, which create almost 25% of our plastic pollution.

Butts contain cellulose acetate, a type of plastic which can take decades to decompose. Discarded butts make their way into waterways, where they dangerously pollute the water and endanger marine life.

Ironically, cigarette manufacturers originally placed filters on cigarettes to give smokers the false illusion that they are inhaling less poisons when they smoke. This is not the case.

What can be done about the butt problem ?

California is leading the way. A company called ‘Greenbutts’ is working on biodegradable filters !

The City of Vancouver, Canada, has enacted bylaws which impose fines ranging from $100 to $10,000 for littering with cigarette butts.

However, we need to continue to discourage tobacco use through addiction cessation programs. I have counseled people wishing to stop smoking. Many smokers try to stop several times before they successfully quit.

On my 1 km walk to the dock this morning, I counted 234 cigarette butts along the side of the roadway.

The Vatican is also doing its part to stop the butt problem. As of 2017, Vatican City, a separate state inside the City of Rome, stopped selling cigarettes.

May God give us the grace to remember to pray for those struggling with addictions.

Pictured is the dock area in our fishing town.

33 thoughts on “A Big Butt Problem

  1. I’m happy to see that the dock area has been cleared of cigarette butts. We wouldn’t want the lobsters to pick up bad human habits.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. We were given a few weeks warning, and then plastic bags for shopping disappeared. Thus far, we are still allowed to use large plastic garbage bags.
      Thanks for commenting, Barb. 🌷


  2. Thank you Sally for highlighting this issue. I had no idea. About the plastic bags…sadly our plastic bags are back. We just started needing to pay for them in California again, like before. But if you bring your own bags, you have to load your own bags. It’s frustrating.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Hi ! It seems that the issue is frustrating, for sure. Makining changes takes adjustments. We have a collection of reusable bags now, and yes, we also load our own bags too.
      Thanks for commenting. 🌻

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s strange to me to see how different people have different priorities. In the US they’re working on getting rid of plastic straws – while cigarette butts are still everywhere. And so much emphasis from the CDC on wearing masks for protection, while not a word has been said about smoking, or any other habits or addictions that harm our immune systems. Now that we all have more time to focus on our lifestyle choices, this would be a great time for educating the public on self-care. – Cleaning up the pollution in our bodies as well as the environment.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hi ! Thanks for your comment. I think it may be that some people may not be aware that cigarette butts contain plastic too. And, as you say, so much emphasis on wearing masks, and yet some people who have damaged their lungs through smoking have difficulty tolerating wearing a mask.
      Great thought – being aware of not polluting our bodies, and not polluting the environment. ⚘

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks Sally. Great article and what may prove to be a trending title…

    I fully understand the efforts put forth to clean up the environment but so many of these are ultra-selective. There are poisons everywhere in almost everything including our food. Much of the pollution that causes the worst problems to human health is unseen and therefore escapes notice. This means the first thing to do is take care of our own health by strengthening our immune system naturally by diet and exercise (such as walks by the ocean), to fight off any potential pollutants (or viruses) in order to be healthy.

    Successful anti-pollution political efforts use the most visible or bothersome elements of pollution to make their point, such as eliminating plastic straws and bags. I’m not against anything to help clean up the environment and these are good, including ending the butt problem, but those who do the most are those who are sincere and universal in their efforts as much as they can be and do not simply jump on a cause bandwagon. Thank you for doing your part in going above and beyond to make your area the best it can be. I hope you are appreciated. Blessings.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hi ! Yes, I totally agree with you – the best defense for ourselves is to build our immune systems and lead the healthiest lifestyles that we can.

      The great irony is that while the air in Newfoundland is some of the purest on the planet, our citizens also have the highest rates of nicotine addiction amongst Canadians.

      Our seas are greatly polluted with cigarette butts, but our friend Mike, who is a commercial fisherman tells us about the time his crew caught a microwave oven in their nets. Thanks for your comment. 🌷

      Liked by 1 person

  5. There is an organization called the 4 oceans that takes away plastic from the seas and oceans to recycle them .Recycling is among the ways to green sustainable development side by side with promoting renewable energy resources…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for creating awareness of The 4 oceans. I appreciate your understanding of the importance of caring for the beautiful earth that God has given us. πŸ€—πŸŒΌ


      1. Hi ! We have no snow yet; we have had a beautiful fall season.
        Usually we will get snow starting in December.
        Our climate is temperate, meaning that it usually never gets too hot or too cold. The ocean acts as a moderating influence. ⚘🌼


  6. We still have our plastic bags, though usually I take a large bag of my own for groceries. When I do get shopping bags at other stores, I use them for my garbage. But it’s concerning about all those butts going into the water where marine animals and fish might end up eating them. I can’t imagine what that would do to them. People just don’t think beyond the moment to what effect their actions may have.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hi Diane ! Yes, you are right ‘people just don’t think beyond the moment to what effect their actions may have.’ For sure, the cigarette butts negatively affect the health of our fish. Thanks for commenting.🌼


  7. Hmm, I am a little embarrased to admit, when I clicked on this post, I expected a confession from the rapper who famously sang “I like big butts and I cannot lie”, that yes, he did in fact lie.
    Plastic bags are still allowed here, some stores have been murmuring about removing them, but no move yet. As to cig. butts, I don’t notice it here. I rarely see any of that pollution anymore, or people smoking. I assumed it has all but ceased, rarely ever noticing the grocery clerk getting cigs for a customer.
    Thank you for your hard work, and posting another excellent post, you are very appreciated.
    As an aside, my wife and I have recently begun watching backpacking videos on youtube. One recent gem we enjoyed was Newfounland’s own, Justin Barbour.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Hahaha…words can be confusing sometimes.
      Glad that the cigarette problem is reduced in your area.
      Thanks for your kind comments.
      Yes, Newfoundland is a spectacular place, with such pure air.
      Ironic that we have the highest ratio of smokers per capita in Canada. πŸŒΌπŸ€—

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment. Yes, they are harmful, since they get into the ocean, and make the fish sick. After a storm, there are often hundreds of butts washed up on our beach. ( And often empty rum bottles too). ⚘🐢

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, for sure, addictions need to be treated. Our outport has much poverty, but such a high number of smokers. Newfoundland recently raised higher taxes on tobacco products. However, as you and I know, until the underlying anxieties which motivate smoking are treated in individuals, smoking will continue. πŸ€—πŸŒΌ

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Your title is very catchy Sally…πŸ˜œπŸ˜„πŸ€­….Plastics are banned here too but the movement kinda died out…as in….people aren’t being fined anymore for being seen with a plastic bag. Plastic bags are not sold in any store. All have been replaced with paper bags and bags made from cornstarch that are biodegradable. And even those are chargeable. They aren’t always available and some shops do not even give you that option apart from you having your own bag….most people out here …like me….just carry out own clothbags and wash a d reuse those ….like our grandparents did before….cloth bags are back in styleπŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜…πŸ€­…
    Vapes and electronic cigarettes have been banned here….even possession is a crime. I was very pleased when that was passed. But, cigarettes are still being sold ….along with chewable tobacco which is far worse and extremely common among low socio-eco groups. Tobacco is a big player here and brings in huge revenue….I don’t see that going away due to the huge influence they have….in fact I’m sure they lobbied the e-ciggie guys out to annihilate the competition ….but smoking in public places has been banned since 2009 if I’m correct. So one can only smoke in a smoke zone…which is why we rarely see cigarette butts outside ever. ….a lot of garbage and other stuff….just not butts.πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Ruehla for your comments. Glad to see that plastic bags aren’t being used – that is interesting that people were fined for using plastic bags. Wow, good that e-cigarettes are banned. That is good that people can only smoke in a smoke zone -discourages smokers somewhat.
      Great that you don’t see cigarette butts outside. They are everywhere here, and so hazardous , as they make their way into the water supply and affect the fish.
      So ironic, since our town depends on fishing. βš˜πŸ€—πŸŒΌ

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t know if the smokers are discouragedπŸ˜…πŸ™ƒ….I wish we could just ban tobacco all together….but it’s a billion dollar industry ….soπŸ˜”

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes we still have plastic bags and packaging however there has been significant inroads made to resolve the issue.
    In terms of the cigarette butt issue the councils of the UK have introduced fines for people who throw the butts on the floor. You are right though inasmuch as people need to be encouraged to stop smoking and in the UK we have a lot of support for people who want to stop.
    However we need God’s help in entering the hearts of all those who smoke to allow them to see a life out of addiction.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Paul ! It is great that in the UK there is a lot of support for people who wish to stop smoking. It is a difficult addiction to break. May God help them. πŸŒΌπŸ€—


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