Duration: June 2018 – Present
In the Portuguese context, 7 thousand cigarette butts per minute are thrown to the ground due to the rooted and socially accepted wrong practices of disposing of this toxic waste. The butts contain more than 4700 harmful filtered compounds, and are composed of microplastics and cellulose. Given their light weight, butts are transported by rainwater and watercourses to the sea, and are today one of the items that contributes most to the pollution of oceans and coastal areas. The cumulative effects are significant, since 11 million cigarettes are produced per minute worldwide at the cost of a very high ecological footprint.
In June 2018, we organised our first collection of butts in Albergaria-a-Velha and, in 30 minutes with 14 volunteers, 2592 butts were collected. Since then more actions have been carried out ove the first year of the campaign, involving 1055 volunteers and collecting more than 200,000 butts. After collection, we deliver this waste to associations or companies that recycle it (such as the Landscape Laboratory in Guimarães) or reuse it to make artistic pieces of environmental awareness (such as the Association 10 Million at Berma da Estrada).
The largest collection of cigarette butts that we have ever carried out was on May 20, 2019 when we joined the students of the 7th and 10th years of the José Estevão Secondary School in Aveiro. During one hour, in the whole city of Aveiro, 600 people (students, teachers and volunteers) collected 87299 butts. This initiative also had the support and partnership of the Biataki Network, the Núcleo de Estudantes de Biologia - AAUAv (Biology Students' Center), the Sê Humano (Be Human) initiative and the Núcleo de Cinema e Fotografia - AAUAv (Cinema and Photography Center).
If you would like to organise a collection of butts and need support or partnership you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.