Should cigarettes be banned on the beach?

Posted at 7:14 PM, Jul 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-04 08:29:09-04

Wendy Ludwigson loves the beach, but not people smoking on it.

"I think that they shouldn't smoke but then we are outside, so how can you tell people you can't smoke," said Ludwigson. "I picked up cigarette butts all around me. It was disgusting."

According to a new report by the Ocean Conservancy, cigarette butts top the list when it comes to litter on beaches across the country. They are the most frequently found trash among 2.4 million items found.

Michael Halasz with Sea Angels, says his organization does beach clean-ups. He's not surprised by the report.

"There are toxins in the cigarette filters themselves. What I think people don't realize is that they just don't decompose."

In one month alone, Michael's wife Robyn found 12,000 cigarette butts littering our beaches. Now, they're in a bottle to help educate the public. Michael Halasz said it's important to educate the public and the dangers cigarette butts pose to humans and sea creatures.

"The flu, the cold and some really nasty stuff can be found on cigarette butts up to 72 hours if conditions are ripe," Halasz said.

"They've actually found turtles washed up that have had hundreds of cigarettes butts in their digestive tract." Ludwigson said, "Be more considerate. Pick up your cigarette butts and throw them in the garbage."