When the Downtown Clean Team collects cigarette butts, they usually dispose of them using Terracycle, a cigarette waste recycling program that recycles the butts into a variety of industrial products and composts any remaining tobacco.
To show the impact that micro-waste has on downtown cleanliness, the Clean Team stored all cigarette butts picked up from the streets of downtown Vancouver, and in only one month, the team collected 52lbs of butts in the DVBIA’s 90-block catchment alone.
According to research conducted by the City of Vancouver, cigarette butts are the number one littered item in Vancouver, and one million butts are dropped every single day! *
Cigarette butts are made of a micro-plastic and one butt can take as long as 25 years to disintegrate. They are serious dangerous for aquatic life.
On September 19th, the Downtown Vancouver BIA displayed the 52lbs of cigarette butts in a glass container on the North Plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Joined by the City’s cigarette mascot, Ashley, the team handed out pocket ashtrays – small, envelope-style ashtrays that allow smokers to store their butts until they have access to a trash can.
As part of the City’s annual anti-litter campaign, “Put waste in its place”, pocket ashtrays are being distributed for free year-round at several community centres, libraries, and at City Hall campus in an effort to decrease cigarette litter. The City’s pocket ashtrays were introduced in June and handed out throughout the summer in an effort to help reduce the number of cigarette butts littered on the streets of Vancouver.