gyro San Francisco helps to raise awareness with powerful campaign
Cigarette butts are the number one littered item on the planet. To make matters worse, they’re made of plastic that never biodegrades, and they leach toxic chemicals into the environment right down into our very own water supply.
More than four trillion cigarette butts are littered every year, impacting the environment and flowing down into the Earth’s waterways. Used cigarette butts leach chemicals, such as arsenic and nicotine, and heavy metals, including lead, cadmium and chromium, into the water and soil, which impact marine life, habitats and ecosystems.
To combat this issue, the Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the coasts, teamed up with gyro San Francisco in an effort to de-normalise the act of littering cigarettes and to get people thinking twice about their behaviour.
The campaign, entitled 'Snuffed Out Marine Life', seeks to raise awareness and open a dialogue about this behaviour change through arresting visuals that directly connect cigarette butt litter to the wildlife we care about.
“There’s been a cultural shift that has defined what types of behaviour are just not acceptable anymore – like not picking up after your dog or throwing garbage out the car window,” said gyro San Francisco President Drew Meyers. “We hope this awareness effort will help change behaviour and make people think twice about flicking their cigarettes, especially for the sake of our planet.”
“Cigarette butts are a huge issue for our ocean and coasts, and typically account for about one third of all litter items collected at Surfrider beach cleanups nationwide,” said Bill Hickman, Southern California Regional Manager with the Surfrider Foundation. “Studies have shown that the substances that leach out of cigarette butts can be toxic to micro-organisms and fish. The Surfrider Foundation network works in local communities around the country to reduce plastic pollution at the source and prevent cigarette butts from impacting our ocean, waves and beaches.”