Did you know that cigarettes are the number one littered item in the US.
Why are they the number one littered item?
There are several factors contributing to rising
cigarette butt litter. First, as a result of widespread indoor smoking
bans, more smokers smoke outdoors. Moreover, KAB noted a general lack of
adequate outdoor ash receptacles, particularly at “transition points,”
like building entrances and bus stops where smokers were required to
extinguish their cigarette butts. Significantly, many smokers and even
nonsmokers did not perceive cigarette butts as litter in the same way
as, for instance, food packaging or other consumer items.
What is Keep Orlando Beautiful doing about it?
KOB was one of the first affiliates to implement a prevention program locally. A test area, Thornton Park, was decided upon. First, a butt index was taken. Cigarette butts were counted in sections. Next, ash receptacles were placed within each of these sections and another index followed. The placement of the receptacles resulted in a 48% decrease in cigarette butt litter. KOB will be installing several more along Orange Avenue between Wall Street and Church Street.
In addition to the receptacles, pocket ash trays were handed out to local businesses in the area. KOB keeps a supply on hand and passes them out at concerts and events. To date, over 5,000 have been distributed.
If you know of an event in the City of Orlando that the pocket ashtrays should be distributed and used to help prevent butts from becoming litter, please contact us at 407-246-2752 or
Are cigarette butts biodegradable?
Very few products or materials are 100% biodegradable. We do know that cigarette butts do not easily or rapidly degrade/decompose under normal conditions.
Keep Orlando Beautiful's mission is focused on community improvement through litter prevention, waste reduction and recycling, and beautification, and our organization addresses the behavior of littering of all sorts of materials. We in no way promote smoking. We, as an organization, can not and do not take any positions on public health issues outside of our focus areas, including tobacco legislation, in any way.