Smokers discard 192 tonnes of cigarette butts on Yorkshire streets

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Smokers are discarding 192 tonnes of cigarette butts in streets across Yorkshire and the Humber every year.

According to the “Ready Reckoner” tool created by Ash.org.uk, in England, an estimated 15.5 per cent of adults smoke cigarettes (2016), with around 75 million cigarettes consumed every day.

Vapourcore.com analysed the “Ready Reckoner” tool to identify the amount of cigarette waste discarded as street litter by each region in England in 2018.

Smokers in Yorkshire and The Humber consume approximately 8.4 million cigarettes every day.

Roughly 7.3 million are filtered, resulting in around one tonne of waste daily.

This represents 456 tonnes of cigarette waste annually, of which 192 tonnes is thrown away as street litter - enough to fill 8,247 standard wheelie bins every year.

Charles Bloom, managing director of Vapourcore.com, said: “Cigarette waste is a huge problem. Today, consumers are more conscious of waste than ever before. Now, people think twice before purchasing a plastic bottle or disposable coffee cup – even a straw – and the very same mentality should be applied to cigarette butts.

“Of course, not only is the filter component damaging to the environment, but the nicotine, formaldehyde, arsenic, ammonia and other chemicals found in cigarettes are damaging too. Damaging to our wildlife, dangerous to our children and harmful to society; we have a responsibility to recognise this is a problem too big to ignore.”

Across England, discarded cigarette butts amount to 11 tonnes of waste daily. This represents 4,071 tonnes of waste annually, of which 1,710 is discarded as street litter that must be collected by the local government. That’s enough cigarette butts found discarded on the streets to fill seven Olympic swimming pools every year - and that’s not counting cigarette packaging and other smoking-related litter.

The scale of smoking-related litter cited in the “Ready Reckoner” tool is restricted to the contribution of discarded cigarette butts containing filters, which are almost exclusively non-biodegradable.

Statistics courtesy of https://www.vapourcore.com/.