Approximately 118 tons of tobacco butts enter the environment in Latvia every year / Article

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Approximately 118 tons of tobacco butts enter the environment in Latvia every year

The people of Riga who were contacted admit that this is a problem

An environmental object – props of giant cigarette butts – and informative materials about the harmful effects of this waste on the environment can be viewed in Värmanes garden until May 21. Every year in Latvia, tobacco smoke enters the environment, which spreads toxic substances such as lead, arsenic or benzene.

Residents interviewed in the city center admitted that a large amount of this waste is often observed in nature, especially on the beach.

On the other hand, smokers pointed out that waste bins are more located in the center, and sometimes, especially in the neighborhoods, they have to look for a place on the street for a long time, where they can throw away the cigarette filter.

– In my opinion, Riga has become quite more polluted recently and cigarette butts also tend to be a problem. Although, not as much as elsewhere in Europe. In Italy, for example, they generally throw it on the ground and don’t think about it. I smoke from time to time, and it happens that I have to search and walk around a bit to find some trash and throw it away.

– This is the biggest problem in parking lots, there are usually no trash cans there.

– There is a problem! Perhaps less observed in the center of Riga, but further away from the center of Riga, I think the problem is more pronounced.

– For example, I live in Purvciem. The Riga City Council has now put benches every three meters, and this is exactly where to sit and smoke, then there are a lot of smokers around there. There is only one in the whole street [konteiners]but they won’t go that far.

People should be more aware of the harm caused by dropped cigarette butts

The campaign “Smoke – a mine with a time degli” is implemented by “Latvijas žalais punkts”, whose director Kaspars Zakulis is sure that there are quite a lot of these waste bins in municipalities, but people should be more aware of the harm caused by a cigarette butt dropped on the ground.

“Cigarettes are essentially plastic products, as 98% of their content is cellulose acetate, which does not biodegrade in nature. I believe that there are enough of these containers, and we sent 172 containers to all municipalities,

and therefore with this exhibition we will invite the citizens to pay attention to their bad habit of throwing cigarettes on the ground.

There will be “Cīgmīnas” or large cigarette butts, which will simply be placed on the ground and the exhibition will be traveling,” said Zakulis.

From January 1, the system of producers’ extended responsibility for tobacco products with filters has been operating in Latvia, which is also managed by “Zaļais punkts” and the mentioned additional containers have been distributed to municipalities within the framework of the system.

Cigarette butts dropped on the ground are a matter of attitude

Sniedze Sproģe, adviser of the Latvian Association of Local Governments on rural development issues, also assessed that cigarette butts thrown on the ground are, first of all, a matter of attitude.

“You see, the more bins, the more expensive the service. The fact that we put cigarette butts separately doesn’t really solve anything, because the waste has to be collected and taken away, but if it is collected separately, it should be recycled somewhere. But this is the thing , which cannot be recycled yet and where scientists should come to the rescue in a hurry and figure out where to use it.

but it’s a cultural issue that people can’t take to the trash can,” Sproģe reasoned.

A survey of more than 700 smokers carried out as part of the “Green Dot” campaign shows that most smokers know and agree that cigarette filters are waste that causes environmental pollution, but only a fifth (21%) care where they are thrown.

The article is in Latvian

Tags: Approximately tons tobacco butts enter environment Latvia year Article

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