What We Do
The Hold On To Your Butt (HOTYB) program aims to raise awareness about the environmental impact of cigarette butt litter on our oceans, waves and beaches, and to help eliminate cigarette butt litter in Ventura and beyond. Our program is heavily focused on the installation of ashcans, recycling of cigarette butts, and collection of cigarette waste at monthly beach clean ups. Cigarette butts accounted for 59% of litter items collected at our beach clean ups in 2016 and continue to be the most prevalent litter picked up during our beach clean ups. On average, 3,500+ butts are collected at these clean ups each month. Often littered on our sidewalks and streets, they end up in our storm drains and ultimately the ocean.
Environmental Impacts of Cigarette Butt Litter
- An estimated 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are disposed of in our environment annually worldwide
- Cigarette butts leach toxins when wet, posing a threat to marine and wildlife.
- Litter clean up costs the U.S. over 11 billion annually, cigarette butts represent an estimated 32% of that litter.
- Cigarette butts are composed of cellulose acetate, a non-biodegradable plastic, which can take up to 25 years to decompose.
- Littered cigarette butts pose a significant fire threat.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Sponsor a Community Ashcan
Community ashcans reduce cigarette butt litter and improve the quality of business districts for residents and visitors. The ashcans are affixed above the ground in high foot-traffic locations. All cigarette butts collected in the ashcans are recycled through Terracycle.
Your business, organization or family can become a “local partner” by sponsoring a Community Ash Can and immediately improve our community. Your sponsorship will help reduce the impact of cigarette butt litter on our oceans, waves, and beaches. You will be recognized on Surfrider Foundation’s website and through other media outlets for your contribution to our community.
We began installing ashcans with the help of partners and sponsors in late 2016. As of August 2020, there are ~100 ashcans located in Ventura and Oxnard and we have collected and recycled 408,000+ cigarette butts through our program! Thank you to our partners and sponsors (listed below) for making this happen!
All of the cigarette butts that are collected in our ashcans and at our beach clean ups are recycled through Terracycle’s cigarette waste recycling program. We ship our cigarette waste to Terracycle where the butts are melted into hard plastic that can be molded to make new recycled industrial products like the bench pictured below located at the Ventura Promenade.
If you’re interesting in volunteering in our HOTYB program please shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved today!
COMMUNITY SPONSORED ASH CANS
HUGE thanks to the following businesses and community members for sponsoring ash cans and helping us keep toxic cigarette butt litter off of our streets, out of our storm drains, and ultimately out of our ocean.
Joy and Mark Riley
Greg and Ann Moore
Tony, Jadalyn, Kyler and Bryce Marciel
Bill and Ann MacDonald