'Hold Onto Your Butt' Campaign

Beginning in mid-June to mid-August, we launched a pilot initiative to prove the need for containers on our beaches for people to use instead of dropping cigarette butts on the beach. Cigarette butts are made of plasticized cellulose acetate and this plastic makes its way into our oceans and causes the same issues as other plastic products that do not break down.

In collaboration with the Comox Valley Regional District, we distributed temporary cans on specific beaches and collected the butts over the summer and then brought the results to the regional district to advocate for permanent cylindric ashtrays to be installed and the regular emptying of them. In addition, we launched an education campaign with the public via social media and through the distribution of pocket ashtrays provided by Surfrider Vancouver Island to allow people to ‘Hold on to your Butt’ until it can be disposed of appropriately.

The cigarette butts collected were sent to Terracycle where the plastic portion of the filters is recycled into plastic items such as park benches. This step closed the circular loop of recycling and thwarted plastic pollution in our ocean.

Read more on the Comox Valley Record: (June 14, 2019)