Cigarette smoking is not just harmful to health, but also for the environment.
Cigarette smoking not only makes a healthy body weak, but it is also killing the earth slowly.
According to research carried out in Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), it was found that cigarette butts in soil hamper a plant’s growth.
The research paper was published in the journal Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety informs news agency IANS.
Cigarette butts reduce the germination success and shoot length of clover by 27 per cent and 28 per cent respectively.
The root biomass (root weight) is reduced by 57 per cent.
It was further discovered that in case of grass, the germination success reduced by 10 per cent and shoot length by 13 per cent.
This is the first of its kind study that shows the damage that cigarette butts cause to plants.
The research further stated that every year around 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are littered across the globe.
Thus, this makes the cigarette butts the most penetrating form of plastic pollution on the earth.
Sharing details about the research, lead author Dr Dannielle Green says, “Ryegrass and white clover were the two species we tested.”
“These are important forage crops for livestock as well as being commonly found in urban green spaces,” he adds.
“These plants support a wealth of biodiversity, even in city parks, and white clover is ecologically important for pollinators and nitrogen fixation,” Dr Green adds.
An important fact that should be noted that most cigarette butts’ filters are made from a type of bioplastic called cellulose acetate fibre.
The research also revealed that unsmoked cigarettes’ filters had almost the same effect on plant growth as used filters had.
“Damage to the pants is caused by the filter itself. Release of the toxin by burning the tobacco is actually not the real matte of consideration,” adds Dr Green.
He further breaks the myth that most smokers have about cigarette butts.
He says that as assumed by many, cigarette butts don’t biodegrade quickly.
“Smokers don’t consider butts as litter as they think it biodegrades quickly,” says Green.
“But in reality, the filter is made out of a type of bioplastic that can take years, if not decades, to break down,” Green adds.
So next time when you take up a cigarette to smoke, think once again!
Cigarette smoking is not just injurious to health, but also to the environment- especially the plants!