As many California residents know, cigarette butts are found everywhere we go. These little ends of a cigarette have been an occurring object throughout my entire life. Walking down the street, seeing old cigarette filters filling the gaps in the pavement or covering the vase of a plant. The growing issue of smoking and especially among teens have become a serious health and environmental hazard. These things are everywhere and cost millions of dollars to clean up every year.
In a recent LA Times article, they discuss Assembly Bill 1690 which tackles the problem of cigarette butts consuming our streets. This bill would not only ban single-use cigarette filters, but also “disposable” vapes that carry a batteries and fluids that cause damage to local environments. This is great because the so called disposable vapes are much more harmful and take up a lot more space. These butts made up nearly 30% of trash collected by volunteers on Coastal Cleanup Day. Every year in Los Angeles alone, the city spends over $19 million dollars cleaning up cigarette filters and other vape products. To think all that money being spent to clean up after others, could be used to help better the environment in a more productive way. In the US as a whole, there is about $41 million dollars spent per year cleaning up this toxic trash. Now, this will not take out disposable vapes and vape products all together. Instead, they will fine all sellers $500 per violation sold from one to 20 items.
In the past, bills have been deemed unsuccessful towards banning these items but we think this time might be different. As stated in the article, “growing awareness” of the issue and “stronger coalition” between others, will allow for people to support the passing of this bill to better our environment and set a better standard for the smokers in our country.