A parent bird has been spotted feeding its chick a cigarette butt. The black skimmer bird was photographed at a beach in Florida, US picking the butt up and putting it in the chick’s mouth (source: The Independent). This has ignited environmental concerns and prompting a wave of anger at careless smokers.
Cigarette butts were the most common item of all types of rubbish collected from beaches around the world as reported by Ocean Conservancy in 2018. There are 4.5 trillion of them littering our streets, parks and beaches around the globe. So ubiquitous are tobacco butts that many people have become oblivious of their actual environmental implications. Most people do not realise that butts are made from cellulose acetate, a plastic that never entirely degrades. These filters create a lasting environmental threat, especially for the ocean when they are improperly discarded.