Ten years. This is the minimum time it takes for a cigarette butt to degrade in nature. On Breton beaches, cigarette ends represented 18.56% of the waste collected in 2017, according to the Surfrider association. Beyond visual discomfort, this significant presence pollutes the environment. Indeed, composed of 4000 unwanted substances, a cigarette butt alone pollutes 500 liters of water. What measures are in place in Brittany to fight against this environmental scourge?
“Tobacco-free beaches” are on the rise
Plouha, Plouézec, Saint-Quay-Portrieux or even Perros-Guirec. Since 2014, “Tobacco-free beaches” have multiplied in the Côtes-d’Armor. Born in 2011, in La Ciotat (13), this concept aims to reduce the presence of cigarettes in the daily life of the French and to create healthier public spaces. In July 2021, while the beach of Trestrignel, in Perros-Guirec, joined the 70 French “Tobacco-free beaches”, Rosine Danguy des Déserts, assistant for eco-responsibility, confided to Télégramme: “This label is intended to join two priorities , namely the health of people and that of our environment ”.
The creation of “cigarette butt huts”
A first for Brittany, “cigarette butt cabins” appeared in July on Men er Beleg beach in Saint-Philibert (56). The principle is simple: just use the pots made available to smokers as ashtrays, and empty them into the drawer provided for this purpose when leaving the beach.
Biological inactivation of chemicals contained in cigarette ends
Another installation, specific baskets, dedicated to cigarette butts. In July 2020, the town of Carnac (56) decided to make its beaches tobacco-free zones. “Containing multiple toxic products, cigarette ends are harmful to health, and filters, made of synthetic products, are also harmful to the environment. They never disappear, ”explained to Le Télégramme, Catherine Allain, deputy in charge of the environment. Once collected, the contents of the ashtrays are entrusted to the MéGO factory! de Bourg-Blanc (29), near Brest, which treats and biologically inactivates the chemicals contained in cigarette butts, and transforms filters into urban furniture.
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