Make Eco-Friendly Cigarette Filters Mandatory

Target: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

Goal: Convince the ATF to require that cigarette manufacturers use eco-friendly filters.

Each year, 5.5 trillion cigarettes are thrown out worldwide. The remaining cigarette butts that usually end up as litter can take anywhere from 18 months to 10 years to decompose. The toxins in the cigarette butts leak into soil and bodies of water and often kill marine life when ingested. Ask the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to require all tobacco companies use biodegradable cigarette filters.

Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world. Each year, 176,000,000 pounds of cigarette butts are collected in the U.S. This is especially disconcerting because cigarette butts are made of acetate, or plastic, which can take up to a decade to decompose. Not only that, but because the filters are meant to catch certain toxins before they enter the smoker’s lungs, when the butts are littered, those toxins then leak into soil and bodies of water.

Cigarette butts already threaten marine life by leaking toxins into water. But they also have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds and other marine life. Marine animals mistake cigarette butts for food and end up swallowing them, often causing them to choke or starve to death.

Despite attempts by environmental groups to educate the public on the importance of properly disposing of cigarette butts, they still continue to be littered, sometimes even within ten feet of a public ashtray. It doesn’t help that cigarette companies don’t place any labels on their packaging encouraging proper disposal either. Since the masses have been widely left in the dark about the negative impacts of littered cigarette butts, it is up to the tobacco industry to take charge. Tell the tobacco industry to use their billions in profits to develop and manufacture eco-friendly, biodegradable cigarette butts.


Dear Bureau of  Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms,

Each year, trillions of cigarettes are thrown out all over the world. In the U.S. alone, 176 million pounds of cigarette butts are collected yearly. Cigarette butts are made of plastic, which is non-biodegradable and can take up to ten years to decompose. The toxins that are trapped in the filters leak into soil and bodies of water. Not only do these toxins threaten marine life, but the countless cigarette butts that are consumed by animals also threaten their existence.

The tobacco industry enjoys billions in yearly profits. It can afford to spend the money required for the research and development necessary to create a biodegradable, eco-friendly solution to the worldwide problem of cigarette butt litter. We urge you to force the tobacco industry to take responsibility for the negative environmental impact cigarette butts have had by requiring them to develop and manufacturer cigarettes with eco-friendly filters.


[Your Name Here]

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  1. Ruth Rogers Ruth Rogers says:


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