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The most common source of plastic pollution in our environment is not bottles, plastic bags or food wrappers, but cigarette butts. Smokers stub out nearly 800,000 metric tonnes of cigarettes every year, enough butts to cover New York’s Central Park. They are in every country on the planet, from city streets to rubbish tips, rivers and beaches.

Cigarettes contain single-use plastics because they are engineered and manufactured that way. Butts take a decade to degrade, releasing more than 7,000 toxic chemicals into the environment. Wildlife is also at risk: researchers found partly-digested cigarette butts in 70% of seabirds and 30% of sea turtles sampled for one study.