Litter Awareness

Please don't litter!

NO BUTTS ABOUT IT!

Raising Awareness and Providing Solutions to Cigarette Litter

It is estimated that several trillion cigarette butts are littered worldwide every year. That’s billions of cigarettes flicked, one at a time, on our sidewalks, streets, nature trails, parks, and other public places every single day. 80 percent of butts on the ground find their way into our storm drain system and end up in our local creeks and streams.

In fact, cigarettes are the most littered item in America and the world. Cigarette filters are made of cellulose acetate tow, a form of plastic, NOT COTTON, and they can take decades to degrade. Not only does cigarette litter ruin even the most picturesque setting, but the toxic residue in cigarette filters is damaging to the environment, and littered butts cause numerous fires every year, some of them fatal.

Cigarette butts

Flatbranch Creek – Downtown, Columbia, MO. These discarded butts appear after every small rain storm in downtown, Columbia, littered cigarette butts like these work there way into the storm drain system, then our local creeks and streams, when thrown on the ground or out the window of a car. Please remember cigarette butts are litter.

HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN? Learn more about the city’s stormwater system here.

Some facts about littered cigarette butts:

  • Every littered cigarette butt can take up anywhere from two to twenty-five years to biodegrade.
  • There are over 176,000,000 pounds of discarded butts in the United States each year.
  • Cigarettes are littered on average 142 times per second.
  • Smokers who are made aware of the litter problem are most often cooperative in disposing of their cigarette litter properly.
  • Litter cleanup costs the U.S. almost $11.5 billion each year, with businesses paying $9.1 billion.  Governments, schools, and other organizations pick up the remainder. 

Cigarette butts

Around Columbia, MO – Summer and Winter

No butts about it

Raising Awareness and Providing Solutions to Cigarette Litter

Cigarette station

Smoker Station

The City of Columbia Stormwater Utility, the District and local business owners have joined together to help fight litter in Columbia, MO. If you smoke cigarettes, you have every right to do so. Please remember cigarette butts are litter. Please dispose of them properly. Look for the 50 smoker stations located around downtown, Columbia. Please don’t litter! Learn more about Columbia’s Smoking Ordinance

If we all work together, we can make the world butt-free.

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Smoker Station

The City of Columbia Stormwater Utility, the District and local business owners have joined together to help fight litter in Columbia, MO.

If you smoke cigarettes, you have every right to do so.

Please remember cigarette butts are litter. Please dispose of them properly.

Look for the 50 smoker stations located around downtown, Columbia. Please don’t litter!Learn more about Columbia’s  Smoking Ordinance

If we all work together, we can make the world butt-free.

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Partnership and Support provided by:

Como public works The District logoStormwater Utility