AZRAQ ANNOUNCES NEW CAMPAIGN FOCUSSING ON DAMAGES CAUSED BY CIGARETTE BUTTS
Following the success of it’s joint #StopSucking campaign targeting plastic straws with Freedom Pizza, the local marine conservation organisation Azraq is now taking aim at cigarette butts, the number one item found in coastal clean ups globally.
Most people do not realise that cigarette filters in the cigarette butt is made from a type of plastic called cellulose acetate that doesn’t biodegrade and with the World Health Organisation estimating that 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are littered worldwide everyway, its obvious that a significant number of cigarette butts would be finding their way into oceans and onto shores.
Natalie Banks, Managing Director of Azraq has stated that during coastal and urban clean ups, 30-40% of items collected are cigarette butts.
“Not only are cigarette butts unpleasant aesthetically,” she said, “but cigarette filters are comprised of thousands of chemical ingredients, including arsenic, lead, nicotine, and ethyl phenol, all of which leak into aquatic environments.”
“Not only are cigarettes bad for the environment, but smoking killed more than 2,900 people in the UAE in 2016 and cost the country $569 million in lost productivity and health care costs, according to the latest report on global smoking,” Ms Banks said.
In 2003, The Dubai Municipality introduced a 500 AED fine for littering with a cigarette butt which was doubled for drives flicking their butts onto UAE roads which also came with six black points.
Ms Banks has encouraged residents to report people littering with cigarette butts to their local municipality and encourages smokers to take a container with them to the beach so that they are not tempted to litter.
“Better yet, don’t smoke or give it up if you do… your health and the environment will thank you for it,” Ms Banks said.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?
o Raise awareness about the impacts of cigarette waste on the environment (share the page!)
o Show people the amount of cigarette butts that are found on the beach or in the urban area.
o Report a person littering with a cigarette butt to the local municipality or advise them of concerns with cigarette butts at your favourite beach
• Free number in Contact Center: 800900 around the clock.
• Main telephone number : +971 4 2215555
• Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
• For suggestions : email@example.com
• For complaints : firstname.lastname@example.org
• P.O.Box : 67, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
• Business Working Hours 07:30 AM to 02:30 PM from Sunday to Thursday
• Timing During Ramadan 09:00 AM 02:00 PM
o Partake in a local coastal cleanup
o Get involved with Azraq
Image Credit: Lindsay Fox