Surfers Paradise, Rye, Perth and Sydney: 3rd December 2023
Almost 18,500 cigarette butts were picked up during the Great Butt Hunt in four locations across Australia this weekend, including more than 14,000 from Surfers Paradise’s Main Beach alone.
Planned to coincide with the end of “Schoolies” at key locations, the Sea Shepherd Marine Debris Campaign joined forces with No More Butts to deliver these events, targeting the removal of cigarette butts from the environment.
After the events today, the collective impact of Sea Shepherd Marine Debris Campaign and No More Butts have recovered more than one million cigarette butts from the environment.
The events today saw 70 volunteers focus on hunting down cigarette butts from beaches and surrounding areas as part of the regular beach clean events hosted by Sea Shepherd Marine Debris Campaign every month across Australia.
Sea Shepherd Remote Marine Debris Coordinator, Grahame Lloyd said the Great Butt Hunt was a fantastic way to tackle the most littered item found during beach cleans.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be involved in this initiative. Cigarette butts are regularly the most common item collected by our volunteers”.
“Holding these events immediately after Schoolies means that we can prevent as many of these toxic butts from entering the sea, where they pollute water and kill marine species.”
No More Butts founder Shannon Mead joined Grahame for the event in Surfers Paradise, noting that 40% of all littered cigarette butts make their way into our waterways.
“Cigarette butts are the most littered item in Australia, with an estimated 8.9 billion being littered each year. Containing toxic chemicals and heavy metals, they poison the soil and water”.
“Cigarette filters are a single-use plastic and should be considered in future roll outs of state plastic bans. We’re excited that NSW is leading the way, seeking public feedback on a ban at the moment. Until then, there are a lot of butts we need to grab out of the environment”, quipped Mr. Mead.
Mead continued, “We’re excited to be able to join forces with the Sea Shepherd Marine Debris Campaign for these events to raise awareness and take action. We can have so much more impact when we work together to tackle these issues.”
For images and videos from the different locations, please click on the Dropbox link: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/cnhgzssuf41on9rv3dv71/h?rlkey=2yqajzdhxk6gk7jkht99d6a2y&dl=0
All images to be credited to: “Sea Shepherd Marine Debris Campaign”
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We recognise they have cared and maintained the beautiful environment for time immemorial. We would like to pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging and extend that respect to all Indigenous communities.
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