Top Biodegradable Filter Tips
Despite many recent pushes for more sustainability, filters used in cigarettes are usually made of plastic. Specifically, a synthetic fiber known as Cellulose Acetate that requires more than 10 years to break down. However, biodegradable filter tips, most of which are paper-based, have found a place in the market. Unfortunately, not many people have made the switch at present.
Cigarette filters are going to break down in the long run but only in the proper conditions. They happen to be the most well-known source of ocean plastic pollution at present, forming as much as 38% of the waste found. On the other hand, plastic straws, which have a much worse reputation as a pollutant, constitute only 0.25% of the total plastic that makes its way every year into the ocean.
Although there have been efforts to minimize plastic consumption by shunning the use of plastic straws, mainly by pubs, supermarkets, and eateries, no such efforts have been taken to eliminate plastic cigarette filters.
Even if you disregard the plastic, cigarette litter is loaded with harmful toxins, such as arsenic, which causes harm to marine life when leaked into the water. Discarded filters have been found in the stomachs of birds, fish, and whales who mistook the filters for food.
More than 5 trillion cigarette filter tips enter the environment each year.
It is Time to Make the Switch
Despite this being such an obvious issue, there is not much awareness of paper-based, eco-friendly alternatives at present. Biodegradable filter tips can be obtained from eBay, Amazon, and many smaller online vendors; nevertheless, they are not found in physical stores on a large scale.
Most of the supermarket chains out there have stopped distributing plastic straws in favor of paper. Even though paper straws cost more, the switch will reduce overall consumption to a great extent and have a positive impact on the environment. When you consider the fact that paper filters are just as cost-effective as plastic, it becomes clear that there is every reason for these shops to switch to biodegradable filters as well.
No Excuse to Litter
Perhaps someday soon, all cigarette filter tips will be plastic-free. Even if that becomes the norm, a less harmful, paper-based filter still isn’t entirely harmless. It is still litter, and changing the filter won’t change anything about the toxins in the cigarette itself. Though most people know better than to throw their food wrappers on the ground, they still tend to throw cigarette butts on the floor without a second thought. For this reason, despite endless anti-littering campaigns, they are probably the most littered material at almost every major event.
If this is a cause you would like to actively take part in, start by taking the following measures:
• Come to terms with the fact that plastic filter tips are among the most damaging types of litter on earth, and tell your spread awareness of the fact.
• Purchase adequate biodegradable filters online, ideally those that are reusable and sustainable.
• Reach out to your local outlets and pressure them to begin stocking biodegradable filter tips.