Cigarette butts top list of most common coastal trash: study

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 06 2017 05:44 PM

Cigarette butts were cited as the world's most common coastal trash, a recent Ocean Conservatory study showed.

"According to the Ocean Conservancy, almost 2 million cigarette butts were found in the world's shorelines in 2016," Haribon Foundation said in a statement.

"On the average, cigarette butts take at least 10 years to rot while plastic products will need five centuries to a thousand years to decompose," the statement read.

In the Philippines, aside from cigarette butts, plastic products, and styrofoam also ranked among the top most common waste materials found along coasts, the environmental group said.

"This year alone, Haribon Foundation has collected at least 43 sacks of utensils, straws, plastic bags, wrappers, diapers, bottles, 22 sacks of styrofoam waste, and 21 sacks of rubber, shoes, slippers, bags," the statement read.

"Debris from recreational and commercial fishing also make up the ocean wastes such as buoys, fishing nets, traps and ropes," it added.

Haribon Foundation said broken-down particles of non-biodegradable items end up into smaller bodies of water, and sometimes clog sewer drains in cities.

The group urged the public to take part in coastal clean up drives especially this month, declared as Coastal Cleanup Month.