‘Hold On To Your Butt’! Surfrider Foundation campaign Saturday

Every time there’s a big cleanup at Alki Beach, we hear about volunteers collecting pounds and pounds and pounds of cigarette butts. Even one is too many, says the Surfrider Foundation, which is trying something new this Saturday – an awareness campaign:

For the last several years, the Seattle Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation has held numerous beach cleanups at some of the city’s most popular parks.

Even though smoking is banned on Seattle Parks beaches, play areas, and playgrounds, the cigarette filters continue to pile up at every beach cleanup and according to the Ocean Conservancy are the most common item picked up on beach cleanups around the world. A report from San Diego State University found that the toxins leaching from just one cigarette butt could kill a fish placed in a one liter bucket.

“A common misconception is that cigarette filters are biodegradable because they look like a paper product, but they are actually plastic and recyclable”, says Susan North, Surfrider volunteer. “The San Diego and Vancouver Island Surfrider chapters are already leading very successful Hold On To Your Butt campaigns which are cleaning up our beaches, cities, and streets.”

Their goal is to reduce local cigarette litter by educating smokers that butts are plastic and toxic to marine life. Surfrider believes it is important to empower smokers through education and also to provide smokers with ways to dispose of cigarette butts that are not a fire hazard. The chapter is working with Seattle Parks and Recreation by placing two ash cans at Alki Beach Park.

On Saturday, August 23rd, from 10 AM-1 PM at Alki Beach and in conjunction with the Alki Beach Volleyball tournament, Surfrider volunteers will hand out flyers and hold a beach sweep to draw attention to the amount of butts on our beaches. The campaign committee invites the public to attend and learn more about the initiative and find out how to sponsor an ash can.

P.S. Also on Alki this Saturday morning, the annual Great Cross-Sound Race, so heads up, it’ll be busy at the beach!

8 Replies to "'Hold On To Your Butt'! Surfrider Foundation campaign Saturday"

  • NW August 21, 2014 (8:44 pm)

    Now I use to smoke and toss cigarette butts galore I am sure of and what I am seeing now a days especially in areas where lots of people having a good time are leftover butts. I have sponsored ,so to speak, so far one ashtray of sorts in our community the most popular corner in West Seattle. You know what it got used yeah was a simple 40oz galvanized can and the smokers of that establishment used it. Eventually it disappeared and nether establishment has replaced it. Now they end up in Puget Sound. I will try again but it just makes me upset that places can’t provide them for smokers to use. Go to Capitol Hill along pike or pine corridor it’s a mess! I plan to check out the event Saturday Thank you Surfrider Foudation for caring.

  • Westside45 August 21, 2014 (9:31 pm)

    ” I will try again but it just makes me upset that places can’t provide them for smokers to use.”

    You’re saying businesses should provide vessels for the irresponsible smokers to use so there is somewhere off the street for them to discard their butts? Why should the onus be on the businesses to provide anything for someone who chooses to cut short his life and annoy those around him who would like fresh air to breathe? Make the smokers put their butts in their pockets and take them home and recycle them.
    End of rant.

  • Graham Morgan August 21, 2014 (10:53 pm)

    Westside45, Just because the onus may not be on a business, it doesn’t mean it can’t be in their best interest. Businesses provide trash cans not because the onus is on them to do so, but because they want to keep their store fronts clean. The difference with ash trays is that they should be placed away from doors and windows where it is illegal to smoke. I don’t like having to walk through cigarette smoke, but I dislike litter even more.

  • BlairJ August 22, 2014 (9:12 am)

    I’ve never before heard that cigarette butts are recyclable. Is that “theoretically” recyclable, or is there actually a company that recycles them?

  • drahcir61 August 22, 2014 (9:38 am)

    Cig smoking is the most disgusting thing in the world. I’ve never even taken a puff, nasty!

    Went for lunch last weekend in Georgetown & a woman was standing outside smoking. A few minutes later I saw her at the bar wrapping silverwear inside napkins … she never washed her hands … won’t go back there ever again!

  • heather August 22, 2014 (10:02 am)

    Ditto-ing BlairJs comment. I had no idea those were plastic. If they’re recyclable I’ll tell people whom I know smoke.

    • WSB August 22, 2014 (10:07 am)

      Google it – various stories come up. I have no way of verifying, so you can decide what you think. The main one checks to a program initiated by a tobacco company.

  • NW August 22, 2014 (5:13 pm)

    Look people smoke and will continue too wether one agrees or not with it is unimportant. As I mentioned in my first comment in areas like Pike and Pine St east of I-5 I have walked down the street or bicycle and it is appalling the amount of cigarette butts on the ground. I hope if you are reading this you care enough about or marine environment and or community to be proactive somehow. We are living in the 21st century for crying out loud and can do something about this.

Sorry, comment time is over.