90,000 cigarette butts collected during Brussels campaign

Around 90,000 cigarette butts were collected in June as part of a large-scale awareness and clean-up campaign organised by the city of Brussels. The intention is to convince people to stop throwing butts on the ground and make portable ashtrays compulsory for smokers.

The campaign, which started on 1 June, ended on Wednesday with an exhibition of the 90,000 collected cigarette butts at Place de la Monnaie in the city centre. Its main purpose is to educate people about the harmful effects of cigarette butts on the environment.

Councillor Zoubida Jellab pointed out that one cigarette butt contains almost 2,500 toxic substances and can pollute up to 500,000 litres of water. "When cigarette butts are discarded, they often end up in waterways, which has serious consequences for aquatic fauna and flora," she said.

The campaign took place throughout Brussels and involved several collective actions. These included asking residents, associations and businesses to actively participate in cleaning up cigarette butts in the city.

"Cigarette butts are everywhere, around trees and in our streets, planters and green spaces," said Jellab. "Due to their small size and their ability to get stuck in the cobblestones and cracks in the pavements, they are particularly difficult to clean up."

Final event of the campaign on cigarette butts in public spaces in Brussels © BELGA PHOTO TIMON RAMBOER

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