Cigarette butts have always been a big problem on Croatian beaches, and while it’s hard on the eyes to witness, it’s also harmful to the environment. However, to solve this problem, the Volim Vlašići Association from the island of Pag came up with a simple yet effective way to combat this nuisance last year – they introduced paper ashtrays to Croatia’s beaches. Today, this project has expanded to the town of Hvar, reports HRTurizam on July 29, 2019.
According to the concept of Volim Vlašići and the project “Please do not throw out your cigarette butts, our fish and birds do not smoke,” the City of Hvar installed biodegradable cardboard ashtrays to reduce the environmental and visual issue of littering cigarette butts on the beaches.
“We hope that other municipalities, cities, counties and tourist boards will follow their positive example,” the Volim Vlašići Association said.
The ashtrays can be disposable or reusable, are made of paper (cardboard), are biodegradable, and have assembly instructions. Users should place sand inside the ashtray so they can stand upright. After the ashtray is finished being used, the sand is then released through the holes of the ashtray.
The ashtray and cigarette butts can then be disposed of in the trash.
NBC News reported that cigarette butts are the single most collected item on the world’s beaches, with more than 60 million collected over 32 years. Not surprisingly, this number amounts to “about one-third of all collected items and more than plastic wrappers, containers, bottle caps, eating utensils and bottles, combined”, they said.
Much like plastic, cigarette butts take years to disappear from the environment and the chemicals they are composed of are harmful to everything from plants and wildlife to children.
If you’d like to see paper ashtrays at your favorite beaches, contact the Volim Vlašići Association and join the project!
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