By the Springfield Republican Editorial Board
As we’re driving around town on a balmy summer night enjoying the moonlit sky, listening to the ball game on the radio and smoking a cigarette, how many of us toss the butt out the window when we’re finished? According to the Truth Initiative, lots of us. The tobacco awareness group indicates cigarettes top the list of littered things in the U.S. And worldwide, 4.5 trillion cigarettes are discarded each year. While smoking is incredibly bad for our health, the filters are incredibly harmful to the environment.
The Connecticut River Stormwater Committee, consisting of 20 local towns and cities, along with the UMass/Amherst, has launched a public awareness campaign. The campaign will feature decals on municipal trucks with an image taken by a Florida Audubon member showing a bird feeding cigarette butts to its chicks. “Fish mistake cigarette butts for food. Birds mistake butts for food,” said Patty Gambarini, principal environmental planner at Pioneer Valley Planning Commission which convenes and does administrative work for the Watershed Committee.