Cigarette filters are the No.1 plastic pollutant … and don’t prevent cancer
Plastic straws and bags have received widespread attention as pollutants. But another, even bigger, plastic problem has been slipping under the radar — cigarette filters.
Cigarette butts containing plastic filters are the most littered item in the world.
“Many smokers assume the filters are made of a biodegradable material,” says Elizabeth Smith, who works on tobacco control policy at the University of California San Francisco.
In fact, filters are made of cellulose acetate — a type of plastic that can take up to a decade to decompose.
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