In February-March 2021, we distributed an online survey to gain insights about what Helsingborg residents know and think about the cigarette litter issue. We were happy to receive 187 responses in total, where 56 came from the Arabic version, 55 from the Swedish version and 76 from the English version. Thanks for participating!
54.5% were female, 42.8% were male and 2.7% did not disclose this information.
51.9% were employees, 19.8% were students, 8.6% were unemployed, 8% were self-employed, 5.9% were homemakers and 5.9% were retired.
82.9% were non-smokers, but still some smokers participated in the survey too.
The predominant age groups participating in the survey were people from
31-40 years old (28.3%),
51 years or more (20.9%), and 41-50 years old (19.8%).
40.6% of the participants do not know what a pocket ashtray is, 40.6% have never tried it and only 18.8% have tried it, where 12.5% still use it.
31.3% of the respondents struggle to find public ashtrays, which means we should work on improving their visibility and design.
COMPOSITION OF CIGARETTE BUTTS
-15.8% of the respondents think that cigarette butts are biodegradable
-16% of the respondents think that cigarette butts do not contain plastic.
-12.2% of the respondents think that cigarette butts does not take ten years or more to decompose.
-13% of the respondents think that cigarette butts do not account for 80% of the litter found in Sweden.
However, all these affirmations are TRUE.
Cigarette butts predominate over other types of litter. Cigarette filters are made out of a plastic called cellulose acetate. Cigarette butts do not disappear, they can take up more than ten years to degrade.
NEGATIVE IMPACT OF CIGARETTE BUTTS
49.7% of the respondents were not sure that cigarette butts can contaminate around 7.5 liters of water and 6.6% of the respondents think that they do not contaminate this much.
13% of the respondents think that wind and rain wash out toxic chemicals in the cigarette filters, contaminating the water supply and wildlife.
However, these affirmations are TRUE.
When cigarette butts are exposed to wind and rain, they retain and release different toxins contaminating on average 7.5 liters of water per butt.
26% of the participants think that snus pouches are biodegradable.
However, this affirmation is FALSE.
The entire snus blend in the pouch is biodegradable, which is also the case for most of the paper. While the snus blend breaks down quickly, it takes longer for the paper since the paper contains binding agents.