Letters to the Editor

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TACOMA: Those butts last just about forever

Letter by Mary E. Miville, Tacoma on Sep. 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm | 9 Comments »
September 25, 2012 9:59 am

I recently spent a few hours with over a dozen other members of our Midland community cleaning up our stretch of the road along Portland Avenue. We accumulated more than 34 bags of trash, and it could have been more had we picked up every single cigarette butt that was along the road.

There may well be a misconception among some smokers – indeed, I know there is – that cigarette butts decompose. Not so. While they may not last as long as hot dogs in the landfill, they certainly have longevity when tossed out a window or discarded carelessly while standing or walking.

In fact, some people actually believe butts decompose if each one is carefully “field-stripped” – filter separated from the butt and rolled between one’s fingers.

I simply would request that smokers think twice or even thrice before tossing their butts around. It may require more effort to find an appropriate destination, but they don’t disappear once they’re flicked out the window or straight on the ground.


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