Speaker 1: Hello and welcome to all Indians matter. I am Ashraf Engineer. If what's the most littered form of plastic in India? Take a wild guess. Believe it or not, it's cigarette butts. Every year, 100 billion cigarette butts get dumped in the landfills of India, accounting for 26,454 tonnes of waste.
Speaker 1: Few people know that cigarette philtres are made of cellulose asset it a plastic that picks almost 10 years to completely decompose. In fact, such philtres are thought to be the world's most littered former plastic, with close to 4.5 trillion butts polluting the environment every year.
Speaker 1: Potions Conservancy, a global advocacy group, say cigarette butts are second among the top three articles collected during beach cleanups. And numerous studies show that the philtres are accumulated masses of potentially toxic waste posing a serious danger to land and sea life when ingested and polluting groundwater near landfills, not containing leech, it Sid request is injurious not only to health but also the environment.
Speaker 1: All Indians matter.
Speaker 1: He also seen you would be familiar with you've taken a break from work with colleagues, and you head to the chai stall close by. There are several others like you there, sipping a cup of tea with one hand and holding a secret in the other. As they finished their cigarettes, they stopped them out and put them in a dozen or more often simply flicked them onto the street. What we're witnessing is the addition of yet another secret. But to them billions thrown away every day,
Speaker 1: as I said earlier, centred but are the most littered item on earth and a major source of micro plastic pollution.
Speaker 1: The World Health Organisation says such tobacco product waste contains more than 7000 toxic chemicals, paper and re on. In addition to Cellino's aspic, so toxic Adi chemicals that leech from a single cigarette butt can kill 50% of saltwater and freshwater fish exposed to it for 96 hours, according to a report by the Truth Initiative, a US based NGO.
Speaker 1: The Indian Institute of Toxicology says that cigarette butts under ambient conditions show only 37.8% degradation in two years, which means that they continue to pollute long after disposal.
Speaker 1: The study suggests recycling the seller knows acid eight as a possible solution. A worried national green tribunal has directed the Central Pollution Control Board to formulate norms for the disposal of cigarette butts. But nothing has come of it.
Speaker 1: Let's not forget that are growing. Urban centres are spending fortunes in clearing letter and the Super It Butts Act to the burden. Most people simply looked the other way when somebody throws a smoke cigarettes on the road. But this is a public nuisance, and the cost should be born by the pollute.
Speaker 1: I don't know what the costs in India are. But some desktop research shows that in San Francisco, clearing up tobacco ways cost $22 million annually, while in the UK is about £140 million.
Speaker 1: France has directed tobacco companies to take voluntary action against such littering and the resulting contamination of water. If they don't, the government will introduce legislation that we compel them to do so and introduce pinning clauses against those that don't comply. The European Union, meanwhile, has brought cigarette butts under the extended producers responsibility or a P R to develop less polluting alternatives
Speaker 1: in India. The government recently proposed draught rules for a P R that would make manufacturers responsible for managing plastic waste after its use. This is consistent with Article 5.3 of the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Treaty that India's signed in 2000. For this also means that smokers will pay more for secrets with the extra amount being used for the cleanup.
Speaker 1: For those of you who don't know, CPR is the responsibility for management of disposal of polluting products by producers. Once those products are no longer and used by consumers, the producer must facilitate a reverse election mechanism and recycling of the waste.
Speaker 1: India has recently banned single use plastic, but cigarette consumption is high and will keep adding to the letter by including cigarette. But later, under plastic e p r. The government could raise awareness of the issue and maybe even create more resources to deal with it.
Speaker 1: This is important because not much has been done at the government level. To contain such pollution, cigarette butts, like so many plastics, make their way into her sees and deep into the ground. This contaminates the food we eat, and the water we drink is impossible to keep scaling up later clearance at the rate needed. So awareness is the key people must know what cigarette butts do to the environment and how they can be collected for recycled.
Speaker 1: The recycling part, however, stuff in, is usually done mindlessly.
Speaker 1: Activists say the Cyclones use unsustainable means and land up doing more harm than good. For instance, they offer new cigarette butts as stuffing for soft toys being bags and questions. They dip dissident but into a chemical solution in order to clean them and then use them as stuffing. However, even these so called clean cigarette butts of very Toxic as they're made of micro plastics. In any case, not even 1% of the separate bus generated in India are recycled.
Speaker 1: The solution, of course, is to not smoke at all is good for you and, as an added incentive is good for the environment, too. If you must smoke, make sure you're disposing the secrets in bins. In many areas, there are separate bins for cigarettes, so make sure you use them secret. But pollution is ubiquitous, but has for some reason escaped most people's attention as a major environmental hazard. The fight to save the planet is multi pronged, and it will be carried out at various levels.
Speaker 1: Before I researched this episode, even I didn't know cigarette butts are the most polluting items in the world. But now that I do, it worries me, and I decided to do my bit to spread awareness about it. Cheque out the show notes full links to related articles and resources and, as the cliche Coz kicked the back.