Cigarette butts are made from cellulose acetate, a form of plastic. They are not made from cotton wool or paper. Butts are designed to capture vapors from a cigarette, and this contains more than 4000 chemicals, including 43 known carcinogens such as ammonia, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and arsenic. These and other toxic chemicals leach into the environment when butts are littered. Children may ingest butts out of curiosity and animals may ingest butts, mistaking them for food.
This Toolkit gives readers a snapshot of the circumstances that cause butt littering, and how to tackle it. It should be read in conjunction with the Litter Prevention Program Kit, which provides an overview for all litter prevention programs.
A wealth of information about smoking and cigarette butts can also be found on the following websites:
Butt Free Australia