Did you know that smoking is not allowed in many outdoor areas in Berkeley and is banned on the UC Berkeley campus? Still, thousands of cigarette butts are casually tossed on Berkeley streets, where they enter storm drains and flow out into the Bay.
Most smokers aren’t aware that smoking is illegal in these areas and that cigarette butts are toxic, plastic trash. That’s why as part of our #ButtFreeBay campaign, Save The Bay is taking the lead on educating Berkeley residents and visitors that the cigarette butts they litter are wreaking havoc on the health of our Bay. By doing so, we can motivate the Berkeley City Council to take enforcement seriously and stem the tide of tobacco litter flowing into the Bay.
For the month of September, we’ll place ads on bus shelters in some of the city’s cigarette litter hot spots near the UC Berkeley campus, such as the one at the corner of University and Addison. The ads will educate passersby that cigarettes are toxic, plastic trash that when littered, wind up in our Bay. Click here to contribute $10, $25, or $50 to help us purchase the ad space.
Year after year on Coastal Cleanup Day, cigarette butts are the most prevalent item found in our creeks and the Bay. Discarded cigarette butts spoil water quality with toxic chemicals, threaten wildlife, and cost taxpayers millions to clean up. We launched our Butt Free Bay campaign to call on Bay Area cities to stop this pollution at the source by adopting and enforcing outdoor smoking bans. But it’s not enough to just pass a ban—we need a concerted effort to educate students, residents, and visitors about these policies and why they matter. That is why we need visible ads in the places where cigarette butts are littered the most.
So far, more than 4,000 Bay Area residents from 125 cities in all 9 counties have signed on asking their cities to pass and enforce outdoor smoking bans. Our past successes in stopping other forms of plastic trash remind us that by acting together, we can have a positive impact on our neighborhoods, cities, and ultimately on our Bay. It will be thanks to concerned citizens like you that we set a new trend across the region that keeps our Bay healthy, safe, and free of toxic tobacco litter. Click here to sign the petition calling on your city to curb its share of cigarette litter.