SB 224 & HB 105 -Right now, it’s against the law for a local government to ban or regulate smoking on their public beaches or parks. These two bills in the 2022 Florida Legislature take into account the following considerations about smoking:
- Cigarette butt litter accounts for one in every five items collected during cleanups, making it the most prevalent form of litter on earth.
- There are over 176,000,000 pounds of discarded cigarette butts in the United States each year.
- Over 4.5 trillion cigarettes are littered worldwide each year. They are the most littered item in the world.
- Litter clean up costs the U.S. over $11 billion annually, cigarette butt represent 32% of that litter.
- Cigarette butts are composed of cellulose acetate, a form of plastic, which can take up to 25 years to break down. Cigarette butts may seem small, but with several trillion butts littered every year, the toxic chemicals add up!
- These micro plastics biodegrade into fish and shellfish and then bioaccumulate in those who consume seafood- estimated at a credit card a year!
- Organic chemicals and heavy metals from cigarettes collect on cigarette filters and are then washed out into our waterways and the ocean.
- Birds and sea mammals ingest the butts, mistaking them for food. Plastic in the sand acts as a heat sink impacting sea turtle reproduction and sexual determination which is highly sensitive to temperature.
- No one wants to vacation at a dirty beach! Communities are losing revenue as tourists decline to spend their vacation dollars to visit beaches littered with cigarette butts.
SUPPORT SB 224 (Sen. Gruters) & HB 105 (Rep.Fine/Rep. Altman) to restore local authority to implement smoking bans for public beaches.