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Pollution from cigarette waste

Wat is your cigarette butt doing on the street?
13 May 2024

We all know that waste belongs in the trash. We like to live, work and study in a clean environment. And yet there are cigarette butts on the ground everywhere. Cigarette waste not only gives a messy appearance, it is also extremely polluting for the environment.

Cigarette waste pollution

About 75% of all cigarette butts end up on the street or in nature. Considering that 6,000 billion cigarettes are produced worldwide every year, that is a lot. Did you know that one cigarette butt can pollute up to 1000 liters of groundwater with heavy metals, nicotine and microplastics? The substances released from cigarette waste also affect the growth of plants and the DNA material of organisms. You can imagine that the consequences for the environment are dramatic.

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What can you do?

Quitting smoking is the best solution for the environment, your own health and the people around you. Is quitting smoking not an option for you? In any case, make sure that your cigarette butt does not end up on the street or in nature, and that you do not cause a nuisance to other people.

Do you need help with quitting? The Dutch basic health insurance covers a course or assistance with quitting smoking for everyone. 

Where do I throw my cigarette butt?

After extinguishing your cigarette, you can throw it away in the metal waste bins that can be found throughout the city. Is there no waste bin nearby? Then use a pocket ashtray. You can pick up a free pocket ashtray from Groningen Schoon Dankzij Mij at the Green Office (Visserstraat 49). We would like to ask you to adhere to the house rules and not to smoke on UG grounds.

Smoke-free UG

All areas of the UG are smoke-free by law from 2020. It can be noticed that smoking still happens in many areas of the UG. Smoking on university grounds and around UG buildings is prohibited. This also applies to the entire Broerplein.

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Environmental effects of cigarette pollution (source: Trimbos institute)
Last modified:14 May 2024 10.19 a.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

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