While the paper and tobacco part of cigarettes are biodegradable and won’t take long to disappear, the filter (which accounts for most of the material in a cigarette butt) in most cigarettes is made of cellulose acetate. Cellulose acetate, while derived from plant fiber, is a synthetic material, and depending on external conditions, it can take anywhere from one to fifteen years to break down. Recently, a company called Greenbutts came out with a filter that is not only composed of natural, biodegradable material, but also contains grass seeds (Finally! A reason for smokers to feel good about throwing their butts on the ground).
I think a lot of people think that cigarettes are biodegradable, when in fact they aren’t. I see a lot of people throwing their cigarettes in the dirt, not really thinking anything of it. Like maddie mentioned, most of the filters in cigarettes take a long time to break down and can be quite damaging to the environment.
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