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On Cigarette Butts As No. 2 Pollutant, Legarda Calls For Strict Enforcement of Anti-Littering Law, Asks Smokers To Be More Responsible

November 16, 2010

AS THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES (DENR) RANKED CIGARETTE BUTTS AS THE SECOND HIGHEST POLLUTANT IN THE COUNTRY, SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA TODAY CALLED FOR THE STRICT ENFORCEMENT OF THE ANTI-LITTERING LAW AND ASKED SMOKERS TO BE MORE RESPONSIBLE IN DISPOSING CIGARETTE BUTTS.
“Smokers should be more responsible when they dispose their used cigarette butts. Smoking alone, with the various chemicals in cigarettes, pollute the air, now even cigarette butts are major pollutants because they are just being thrown anywhere,” she said.
“Everyone, not only smokers, should practice throwing their litter in waste baskets. It’s a simple act, yet people find it hard to follow. Law enforcers, particularly the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), should strictly implement the Anti-Littering Law to prevent people from throwing their litter just about anywhere,” she added.
Last September, the MMDA started the re-implementation of the Anti-Littering Law. Most of those apprehended were caught throwing cigarette butts on the road.
Legarda said that this concern should be addressed immediately as it poses several environmental hazards.
The Senator noted that according to the EcoWaste Coalition, cigarette butts take up to about 15 years to break down, and in the process releases some 4,000 left-over chemicals that can harm the ecosystems.
“We should always bear in mind that anything that would harm our ecosystem makes us more susceptible to threats of disasters. Thus, we have to protect and preserve our ecosystem because this is one of our important tools for our disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation strategy,” Legarda concluded.