California Law Would Ban Butts — From Cigarettes, That Is

“Cigarette filters leach dangerous chemicals into the environment, kill animals that eat them, and cause communities to spend millions of taxpayer dollars for clean-up,” Stone said in a press release. “California has many laws in place to curtail cigarette litter, but
people continue to illegally discard tons of cigarette butts each year. The current laws aren’t sufficient to address this major problem.” […]

“Worldwide, it’s estimated that 845,000 tons of cigarette butts are improperly discarded each year, with something like three billion tossed aside just in the San Francisco Bay Area each year. And as most such filters aren’t rapidly biodegradable, the butts pose a long-term threat to wild animals and small children who ingest them.” […]

“The bill would make it illegal to sell, give away, or order any cigarettes with “single-use” filters in the state, with fines of $500 for each violation. (A single violation is defined as up to 20 cigarettes, so that selling a pack or giving a stranger a single cigarette would both merit $500 fines.) If passed, though unlikely, the law would force smokers to use non-filtered cigarettes or carry around and use a reusable filter.” […]

“Smokers apparently can’t be bothered to discard their butts properly that cigarette butts are the single-most collected type of litter on California’s sidewalks, roadsides, and beaches. Caltrans spends $41 million a year just cleaning up discarded butts, and the tiny City and County of San Francisco spends $6 million a year on the same task in its 49 square miles.”

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