Tobacco along with health hazards causing severe environmental pollution

Insight Online News

Patna, Dec 16 : Tobacco, in addition to health hazards was also causing severe environmental pollution globally.

e-cigarette and cigarette wastes if not disposed of properly, enter into the environment and pollute water, air, and land with toxic chemicals, heavy metals and residual nicotine.

An estimated 766,571 metric tons of cigarette butts annually enter the environment.

Cigarette butts are the second most frequently littered item globally and are often disposed off on streets, sidewalks, and other public areas from where they enter into drains and ultimately end up polluting rivers, beaches, and oceans.

School of Preventive Oncology, Chairman Dr Dhirendra Narayan Sinha said that Cellulose acetate-based cigarette filters were the most littered form of plastic in the world. With close to 4.5 trillion butts polluting the global environment, this form of litter accounts for close to 26,454 tonnes of waste generated annually in India, he added.

Dr Sinha said that cigarette butts were made of cellulose acetate, a kind of non-biodegradable plastic filter that takes almost 10 years to completely decompose. These butts pile up on shorelines or at the bottom of bodies of water which was not only injurious to health but also poses a great threat to the environment.


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