Globally approximately 5.2 trillion cigarettes are manufactured every year. In markets where indoor smoking bans have been introduced almost 1 in 3 cigarette butts end up as litter.
Cigarettes are not biodegradable. Estimates on cigarette biodegradability vary widely from one month to 15 years. According to ZeroWaste, New Zealand, a cigarette butt takes 10-12 years to break down
Australians discard 32 billion cigarette butts every year.
If all the butts discarded in Australia annually were placed end to end, they would extend 640,000 kilometres and circle the planet 16 times.
The volume of toxic waste generated by these 32 billion butts is 40,000 cubic metres. Much of this is currently flowing into our rivers and bays.
76.6% of litter surveyed in the Australian central business districts are cigarette butts.
All publicly accessible buildings in Australia are now smoke free by law. This has resulted in a huge upsurge in butts on footpaths, nature strips and in gutters.
Cigarette butts are a danger to wildlife, and aquatic life which can mistake them for food.
Littering costs Australians in excess of $1 billion each year to clean up.
Cigarette littering will cost you! Fines issued for cigarette litter is on the increase in Australia.
The Australian Fire Brigade is called to attend to fires in rubbish bins, frequently caused by carelessly disposed lit cigarettes, at a cost of $3,000 each call. Of the 76 rubbish bin fires in the Melborne CBD area in 1998-99, 45 of these were caused by smokers!