Cigarette butts constitute about 80% of all litter nz study

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Cigarette Butts Constitute About 80% of All Litter NZ Study

The Environmental Impact of Cigarette Butts “I think most people view New Zealand as clean and green, and for the most part it is. But if you go to your local park, or car park, or retail centre you’ll see litter there behind the bushes. It moves with the wind.”   Meanwhile, a study published last month in Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety indicted how these seemingly insignificant little butts can disrupt an ecosystem. Titled, “Cigarette butts have adverse effects on initial growth of perennial ryegrass (gramineae: Lolium perenne L.) and white clover (leguminosae: Trifolium repens L.)” this research found that the presence of cigarette butts in soil harms certain plants. “Despite being a common sight littering streets and parks worldwide, our study is the first to show the impact of cigarette butts on plants,” said lead author Dannielle Green, Ph.D. “Many smokers think cigarette butts quickly biodegrade and therefore don’t really consider them as a litter. In reality, the filter is made out of a type of bioplastic that can take years, if not decades to break down.”   Cigarette filters (butts) are currently the most abundant form of anthropogenic litter on the planet, yet we know very little about their environmental impacts on terrestrial ecosystems, including plant germination and primary production. When discarded, filters contain a myriad of chemicals resulting from smoking tobacco and some still contain unsmoked remnants.   A greenhouse experiment was used to assess the impacts of discarded filters of regular or menthol cigarette, either from unsmoked, smoked, or smoked cigarettes with remnant tobacco, on the growth and development of Lolium perenne (perennial ryegrass) and Trifolium repens (white clover). After 21 days, shoot length and germination success were significantly reduced by exposure to any type of cigarette filter for the grass and clover. Although total grass biomass was not measurably affected, the root biomass and root: shoot ratio was less in the clover when exposed to filters from smoked regular cigarettes and those with remnant tobacco.   Cigarette filters caused an increase in chlorophyll-a in clover shoots and an increase in chlorophyll-b in grass shoots. Accordingly, whilst the chlorophyll a:b ratio was increased in the clover exposed to cigarette filters, it was decreased in the grass. This study indicates the potential for littered cigarette filters to reduce growth and alter short-term primary productivity of terrestrial plants.    

The Environmental Impact of Cigarette Butts

“I think most people view New Zealand as clean and green, and for the most part it is. But if you go to your local park, or car park, or retail centre you’ll see litter there behind the bushes. It moves with the wind.” Meanwhile, a study published last month in Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety indicted how these seemingly insignificant little butts can disrupt an ecosystem. Titled, “Cigarette butts have adverse effects on initial growth of perennial ryegrass (gramineae: Lolium perenne L.) and white clover (leguminosae: Trifolium repens L.)” this research found that the presence of cigarette butts in soil harms certain plants. “Despite being a common sight littering streets and parks worldwide, our study is the first to show the impact of cigarette butts on plants,” said lead author Dannielle Green, Ph.D. “Many smokers think cigarette butts quickly biodegrade and therefore don’t really consider them as a litter. In reality, the filter is made out of a type of bioplastic that can take years, if not decades to break down.” Cigarette filters (butts) are currently the most abundant form of anthropogenic litter on the planet, yet we know very little about their environmental impacts on terrestrial ecosystems, including plant germination and primary production. When discarded, filters contain a myriad of chemicals resulting from smoking tobacco and some still contain unsmoked remnants. A greenhouse experiment was used to assess the impacts of discarded filters of regular or menthol cigarette, either from unsmoked, smoked, or smoked cigarettes with remnant tobacco, on the growth and development of Lolium perenne (perennial ryegrass) and Trifolium repens (white clover). After 21 days, shoot length and germination success were significantly reduced by exposure to any type of cigarette filter for the grass and clover. Although total grass biomass was not measurably affected, the root biomass and root: shoot ratio was less in the clover when exposed to filters from smoked regular cigarettes and those with remnant tobacco. Cigarette filters caused an increase in chlorophyll-a in clover shoots and an increase in chlorophyll-b in grass shoots. Accordingly, whilst the chlorophyll a:b ratio was increased in the clover exposed to cigarette filters, it was decreased in the grass. This study indicates the potential for littered cigarette filters to reduce growth and alter short-term primary productivity of terrestrial plants. Sourced from: www.vapingpost.com Research from New Zealand has estimated that there are approximately 10 billion cigarette butts littered across the country.

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