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Fewer people are smoking these days, but the ones who do are creating a mess. Cigarette butts are the most-littered item in the U.S.
That’s largely due to smoking bans, which pushed people outdoors where there are no ashtrays. A recent survey found that 35 percent of smokers toss five or more cigarette butts per pack of 20 to the ground once they are done puffing.
So Keep America Beautiful (KAB) is focusing on eliminating butts during the Great American Cleanup program, taking place March-May. The organization advocates pocket ashtrays for pedestrians and special sealable, cup-holder-sized portable ashtrays (above) for vehicles. Then the butts can be dumped when a proper trash can is available.
“People need to realize that dropping a cigarette on the ground is littering,” says Carrie Gallagher, vice president of programs and strategic outreach for KAB. “Our issue isn’t about whether you smoke or not. It’s about where you put it when you’re done.”