, over the past decade or so, most people have gotten better about throwing litter on the side of the road, or just on the ground in general. I notice quite often, though, cigarette butts
being tossed around haphazardly. Worse still is that I notice them outside of urban areas, such as lawns, fields, and streams.
True, cigarette filter fibers are made of cellulose acetate, meaning they decompose relatively quickly and do no real harm to the earth and the plants. Before they decompose, though, they often get confused for food by (admittedly dumb) animals, especially sea-faring ones. For some reason, floating butts make good deadly bait for water critters. Most urban drains take trash that falls in the gutters to nearby bodies of water without any filtering or processing, so litter tossed in the streets can very easily end up in lakes, rivers and bays.
I don't mean to give the preachy lecture about why it's bad to litter; that's out of the scope of this writeup. I just want this to serve as a reminder that butts do qualify as litter, and should be deposited in ash trays or garbage cans (after properly extinguished), or if no convenient receptacle is available, stuffed back in the box they came from until you come across a proper receptacle.