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In the 2020 Keep America Beautiful National Litter Study, 9 out of 10 littered items counted were

4″ and less, with cigarette butts being the number one littered item in this category, accounting for 9.7 billion butts counted on any given day in the United States. Yes, that’s right 9.7 billion! Most cigarette filters are made up of thin plastic fibers called cellulose acetate, a material that over time breaks down very slowly. There are many reports of young children and pet dogs accidentally swallowing cigarette butts, and they've even been found in wild animals such as seabirds and turtles. Ingestion can cause vomiting and, in some cases, convulsions. Leaching toxic material from cigarette butts can also degrade water quality. Various metals including nickel and lead have been found to leach from smoked cigarettes within 24 hours. This may lead to the increased risk of acute harm to marine life. In one laboratory study, a concentration of one cigarette butt in one liter of water killed half of all fish exposed within 96 hours. This is an easy problem to solve. Don’t litter, period. Remember, it’s against the law in South Carolina. Cigarette butts are litter and a fire hazard. You can be fined more than $200 for one cigarette butt tossed out the window. Plus, with court fines and court fees, your total fine could be close to $470. Removing this litter from our communities through organized cleanups is just the beginning of keeping cigarette butts out of our parks and waterways. Keep Newberry Beautiful has implemented a cigarette butt collection campaign to help promote recycling, and to help educate the public that cigarette butts can be recycled. After hosting a cleanup, or through collected butts from cigarette receptacle that we’ve placed with partner businesses across the county. (Thanks to our friends at Samsung, Seapro Boats, Piedmont Technical School, Country Club of Newberry). We ship them to Terracycle to be recycled. Terracycle is a global company headquartered in Trenton, NJ. They have resources to recycle just about everything. They have wonderful programs that you can do from home or implement in your business. Please check out their website. Their cigarette butt collection program Is free. As a bonus, Terracycle will donate $1.00 to the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program for every pound of cigarette waste collected. You can be involved by simply emptying the contents of your ash tray into a re-sealable plastic bag, disposable plastic container, plastic shopping bag, or garbage bag. Please make sure that the cigarettes are fully extinguished. Then drop them off at the Keep Newberry Beautiful office at 719 Kendall Rd. in Newberry SC. If you would like to organize a cleanup of your neighborhood, street, park or waterway, contact Crista to get FREE cleanup supplies. We have trash bags, litter pickers, gloves, and safety vests. By phone: (803) 597-3160, or email:

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