In just one hour, one billion cigarette butts around the world are improperly disposed of and merely tossed on the ground.
This is the most prevalent form of litter found globally. In fact, in Western countries cigarette butts account for 50% of litter.
The Doe Fund of New York City commits itself to social responsibility and social engagement by establishing self-help programs, including a street cleaning assignment program where participants continuously clean up the millions of discarded cigarette butts on the streets.
About the Doe Fund
The Doe Fund is an organization that helps homeless, incarcerated, and addicted men and women become self sufficient members of society through a variety of programs. The “Ready, Willing, and Able” program is the Fund’s residential and work skills program designed to help people become self sufficient.
Everywhere we go there are cigarette butts carelessly tossed by someone to the ground. It’s easy to simply walk away from this, but there are many dangers associated with this practice. For one, improper disposal of cigarettes is a fire hazard, with the potential of leading to huge disaster.
These cigarette butts are also extremely toxic, and pollute our ecosystems and water ways with toxins such as arsenic, lead, and cadmium.
Statistics show that in areas where indoor cigarette smoking has been banned, there is a corresponding increase of cigarette litter in that area. In fact, approximately one in three smokers admits to tossing their litter on the ground.
Cigarette litter is not biodegradable. It can take up to twelve years for it to break down. But even well before then, the toxins of the filter and remaining tobacco leach into the environment.
“Please Do Not Throw Your Cigarette Butts on the Ground!”
This is the message brought forth by the participants of the Doe Fund’s “Ready, Willing, and Able” program. As part of the street cleaning assignment, the participants regularly sweep up cigarette litter from the streets of New York City.
This street cleaning assignment has received significant praise for its contributions to revitalizing neighborhoods.