Environment: Butts, a scourge for the environment in Saint-Martin and elsewhere!


Associated with the Rotary Club Saint-Martin Nord, the Nature Reserve of Saint-Martin has installed awareness panels on cigarette butts, responsible for visual and environmental pollution.

A butt contains more than 7000 chemical elements, heavy metals (cadmium, lead, chromium, mercury), or tar.

"A single cigarette butt in the sea pollutes up to 1 liters of water".

The degradation process of a cigarette filter is very long (between one and two years) and one of its components (cellulose acetate) will pollute between ten and eleven years before being degraded.

This pollution of the marine environment has direct effects: in less than four days, a single butt destroys half of the fauna present in 1 liter of water.

Fish, sea turtles, crustaceans, birds ingest these butts, which leads to their intoxication and death.

The effects are the same on land and especially on beaches when smokers plunge cigarette ends into the sand to extinguish them and get rid of them.

In partnership with the Rotary Club Saint-Martin Nord, the Saint-Martin Nature Reserve installs signs on coastal sites frequented by the public (Terres Basses, Orient Bay, Friar's Bay) in order to make smokers aware of the need to conserve their cigarette butts and / or not to disseminate them in nature, in the sand, on land, at sea and even… in the city. The paintings were made by the students of the Elie GIBS School and their teacher Adeline ARNAUD.

Associated with these panels, reusable ashtray boxes can be removed and rest on the panels.

Please use them without filling them with sand because:

- the sand does not end up in the trash,

- sand is essential to slow down coastal erosion and the effects of climate change (increase in water level, cyclones, etc.),

- the sand cannot be cleaned and does not get rid of chemical substances from cigarette ends.

Beach operators interested in these signs are invited to contact the Saint-Martin Nature Reserve.


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