According to the world health organization, the number of smokers in the world has already reached the billion mark and many of them throw cigarette butts by the trash bins. However, many do not even realize that the mountain of cigarette butts are the most plastic garbage that literally destroys our planet. Researchers from the University of Anglia Ruskin clearly showed how much one thrown to the ground cigarette interferes with plant growth.
Cigarette butts really are plastic garbage. The fact is that cigarette filters, which supposedly reduce the amount of tar and nicotine in the inhaled smoke, are made of plastic called acetate. According to calculations of scientists, for the complete decomposition of this material requires from eighteen months to ten years. During this time, their chemistry manages to get into the soil and harm the plants.
The harm of cigarettes
To prove this, researchers conducted a simple experiment. They threw a cigarette butt in the pot, in which grew white clover — fairly resistant to changes in temperature and humidity, the plant that serves as the lawn almost all parks of the world. In just 21 days stay in the pot, the cigarette has slowed the growth of clover by 27%, and significantly shortened its length. A slowdown was also observed in the case of lawn grass called rye.
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According to scientists, there is no difference, a man throws a cigarette or cigarette — harmful to the environment is applied in any case. Being one of the most common plants in parks, white clover plays a huge role in natural processes. For example, the clover enriches the soil, saturating it with nitrogen and is also involved in the pollination of plants from its flowers the bees are actively collecting nectar and produce high-quality white honey with a strong flavor.
Plastic trash in parks
To show the extent of damage inflicted by nature was thrown to the ground cigarette, the researchers visited several parks and found the number lying in their butts. In some areas, they found literally mountains of garbage in one square meter sometimes lay more than 100 residues cigarettes. The researchers concluded that the throwing of cigarette butts past the bins becomes a social problem, and residents of the cities it’s time to explain what cigarette filters decompose for a very long time, and cause the plants harm the strongest.
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Fines for cigarette
In some countries, for example, in Germany, thrown to the ground the cigarette butt can get quite a large fine or even go to jail. So, in Munich and Hamburg the fine is 55 euros, which at the current exchange rate is about 4000 rubles. If a person throws a cigarette out the car, he commits a criminal offence and risk going to jail — a cigarette butt may cause a fire or traffic accident. If in the course of the accident which somehow happened because of discarded cigarettes, people died, it is considered manslaughter.
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Similar bills want to take in Russia. For example, in 2017, to the decree “On fire mode”, there was a point forbidding to throw cigarettes and matches from the Windows of trains and cars. There are reports that in some regions, for such violations are fined for the sum from 2000 roubles.