How many cigarette butts are thrown out each year?
About 4.2 trillion cigarette butts are thrown on the ground by people each year worldwide.
What about our state of Louisiana? Based off of cigarette tax records, it is estimated that our state tosses about 743 million butts on the ground. If you were to lay each of these butts end to end, in terms of distance, that comes out to about 12,000 miles!
Do you know how long 12,000 miles really is? It's about halfway around the Equator of the Earth!
How Does Litter Affect Me?
• It affects our parents in Louisiana. They spend more than $14 million in taxes to pay for cleaning up areas with litter.
• People who visit our state don't see how beautiful we really are due to litter along our roadways. This is the same for people who want to move here as well. When you are in a dirty place, do you want to hang around? No. Our visitors don't want to hang around either.
• It's dangerous to our health! Litter attracts rodents like rats, that may carry diseases, to your home.
• It affects our safety. Criminals love areas riddled with litter. These areas provide them a place to hide.
Why do People Litter?
People think its okay to litter:
• When they feel no sense of ownership for the property. • When they know someone else will clean up after them. • Where litter has already accumulated.
What is Litter?
Litter is any kind of trash that isn't thrown away properly. Litter not only is a problem, it is a crime. The largest single product group littered in Louisiana, according to a survey, are cigarette butts and take-out food packaging, including cups, napkins, plates, bags, etc. Candy wrappers and beverage containers are also a big problem.
Another big problem in our community are the places you see outside of communities that look like a big pile of trash. These areas are called "illegal dump sites." Some people who don't care about the cleanliness of our area choose to dump their trash on other people's land, without permission.