Smoking litter is the most common type of litter present on the streets of Wales, with cigarette ends by far the most widespread item found.
During recent street cleanliness surveys, smoking-related litter was found on 76% of our streets. They are also the most counted item on beaches in Europe.
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Although cigarette ends are small, by law they still count as litter. Their small size makes them difficult and costly to clean, and also means they are easily transported to our waterways and coast by wind and water. Not only do they contain toxins which pollute our waters, but they can be mistaken by wildlife for food, which can be deadly. Cigarette filters are not biodegradable. They’re actually made of plastic, so they stay in the environment for a long time.
Increasingly popular single use vapes are being found as litter across Wales. In some areas, vapes were found on 6% of streets in recent street cleanliness surveys. The plastic, chemicals and batteries that they contain pose a real and serious risk to our environment.