The first world-wide rebellion against cigarette butts is launched 23 July 2020

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23 July 2020, Tallinn, Estonia – Let’s Do It World launches its worldwide campaign to raise awareness about cigarette butt pollution. The cigarette butt is the most common waste type collected in World Cleanup Day actions. 

There are 6 trillion cigarette butts produced each year and 4,5 TRILLION of them end up in nature – in natural habitats and water bodies. Its effect is devastating on our natural resources – one cigarette filter contains more than 150 extremely poisonous toxins capable of ruining 1000l of water, and takes 15 years to disintegrate. Since the cigarette butts are made of plastic,  the decaying filters contribute massively to the micro-plastic problem the world faces today. 

“Cigarette butt waste is often unnoticed and unrecognised, but it’s highly toxic to the environment and all living beings. Its small size and unknown content makes it often a target of trash-blindness,” explains Heidi Solba, President and Head of Network of Let’s Do It World. According to a survey, 75% of people don’t know that cigarette butts are made from plastic and contain a lot of toxins which makes this waste highly dangerous to the environment. I invite all people around the world to stop their friends and colleagues from throwing cigarette butts to the ground or sewer system. Together and through this simple act we can save nature and millions of lives,” says Heidi Solba.

The Cigarette Litter Campaign starts on 25th July and culminates on World Cleanup Day. Besides all the other waste that will be collected, Let’s Do It World network plans to gather 1 billion cigarette butts on World Cleanup Day, on 19th September  to illustrate the problem. Due to movement restrictions in many countries the cigarette butt cleanups will happen in countries where it’s possible.

World Cleanup Day 2020 will be held on the 19th September. Due to the extraordinary situation Covid-19 has left many countries in, the countries have each this year decided on particular cleanup activities that are suitable for their actual conditions, such as individual cleanups (like plogging), community cleanups within a family or small group, nationwide cleanups (where possible), digital cleanups,  and a trial campaign for cigarette butt cleanups. 

Let’s Do It World believes that the waste problem does not exist in isolation, we are all affected by it, but at the same time we are also a part of the solution to it. Heidi Solba explained: “For World Cleanup Day we want to activate citizens to take action and become more aware of their surroundings, of any kind of trash around them, even the smallest one, and to change behaviours to become more environmentally aware, that is why we are focused on cooperating with individuals, companies and governments.”

Positive change towards environmental sustainability can be created through partnerships, collaboration and through organising awareness events like Cigarette Litter Campaign for World Cleanup Day. The campaign was developed by advertising agency BBDO Zavod. 

“By changing behaviours and consumption patterns, every individual, company and organisation can make a real difference,” said Solba. “We believe that bringing together stakeholders, knowing the markets and looking past differences is the key in creating a sustainable world of collaborations.” Let’s Do It World is committed to being open to working with entities with an impactful sustainability strategy. 

Ingrid Nielsen
Head of Communications
+372 56669775