Hold On To Your Butts

Get the facts on cigarette litter

1. They are the most littered item in the world, an estimated 5 trillion are discarded each year.

2. Cigarette butts were the #1 item found on Washington beaches at the 2013 International Coastal Cleanup.

3. Filters are made of cellulose acetate, a plastic, and there is no evidence they biodegrade.

4. Cigarette butt filters are toxic waste. Birds take the filters to line their nests, harming their young. When wet, they leach out toxins which are lethal to fish.

So what’s Hold On To Your Butts (HOTYB)?

Through beach cleanups, the Seattle Surfrider chapter has documented that the city has a serious problem of cigarette filters littering public areas, especially beaches and city parks. In the spring of 2014 the Seattle Chapter launched the Hold On To Your Butts Program (HOTYB), which is a nationally replicated campaign that has been met with significant success in multiple locations.The Seattle chapter is trying to clean up our city by helping people put their cigarette butts where they belong. Though it is illegal to smoke on beaches in Seattle (per Dept of Parks and Recreation Code of Conduct 3.2.10), and within 25 feet of public places (per WA state 70.160.0175 RCW) butts continue to be a problem in many areas. We invite you to document where you find littered cigarettes and post photos to our Twitter: @SeattleHOTYB and Instagram: seattlesurfriderhotyb.

The chapter collaborated with Seattle Parks and Recreation to install two ashcans at Alki Beach Park in August of 2014. We are actively working to find partners (local businesses owners, business associations, government departments, etc.) in high litter areas to install ashcans to reduce litter as well as promote education of cigarette litter impacts on the environment. We are looking for local businesses, especially near parks and beaches, to sponsor ash cans and partner with us to keep these toxic butts out of our waters. Check out this success story from the Vancouver Island Chapter on their highly successful HOTYB program!

We can provide you with educational flyers, cigarette butt canisters, and information on your opportunities to make a difference. To get involved or request information about HOTYB, please contact our chapter committee: hotyb@seattle.surfrider.org