No Butts™ is an ongoing campaign by Our Seas Our Future highlighting the negative impacts of littering cigarette butts and encouraging behavioural change towards responsible butt disposal. By raising awareness and visibility of the environmental harms caused by cigarette butts, Our Seas Our Future aims to essentially reduce the amount of cigarette litter.
* The counter on this page represents an estimated total number cigarette butts diverted away from our ocean through OSOF collaborative and outreach events, and through the loan of cleanup kits.
How are we doing this?
- Organising cleanup events to reduce (and spread awareness of) the harmful impacts of cigarette butts on the environment.
- Sharing stories and articles relating to the effects of cigarette butts.
- Collaborating with partners aligned with this objective to identify and promote solutions.
- Developing a resource kit supporting these solutions to enable the general public to share and organise their own cleanup events.
Why No Butts?
Trillions of cigarette butts are estimated to be thrown into the environment every year worldwide, where they leach toxic chemicals before turning into micro-plastic pollution.
Cigarette filters are made of a type of plastic called cellulose acetate. Wherever they are discarded, they release that plastic and also the nicotine, heavy metals, and many other chemicals they’ve absorbed, into the surrounding environment.
Filters can take many years to break down and, in the process, they release micro-plastics which are an increasing hazard in waterways and oceans.
In New Zealand, it is estimated that over 10 billion cigarette butts pollution the country’s ecosystem. A National Litter Audit report has created baseline figures for the amount of rubbish in New Zealand, and reinforces the view that cigarette butts are in the top most commonly found litter items during cleanups. One of the most common items found in our cleanup events is cigarette butts, with 1000’s often collected by volunteers within an hour.
View the full report and findings here: National Litter Audit – KNZB