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Council teams help with Keep NZ Beautiful clean up

This page contains information about Council staff showing their support for Cleanup Week.
Updated: 8/11/2018 2:11 p.m.

​Council staff stepped in a day ahead of schedule to help with the Keep New Zealand Beautiful work across the District on Saturday 15 September.

Cigarette butts were among the main offenders cleaned up around the back of offices in Whangārei.

These nasties are full of the toxins they filter out as cigarette smoke is drawn through them by every puff a smoker takes.

When thrown on the ground the filters and the poisons in them wash into storm water drains that go directly into streams. 

All those tiny bits of tobacco left attached to cigarette filters carry more toxins than the filters do themselves.

Just one cigarette butt can pollute seven litres of water, enough to kill insects and other life forms found in freshwater and saltwater, so hundreds and hundreds every day can add up to big problems for the environment.

Added to that, filters are made of cellulose acetate fibres that are thinner than sewing thread.

A single filter contains more than 12,000 of these fibres which take years to break down in the environment, and in the meantime can be eaten by wildlife that mistake filters for food.

The team picked up hundreds of these filters on the day.



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