MARQUETTE — Cigarettes are proven to have negative effects on the human body, but they also pose a danger to Lake Superior.
The Nine Lives of a Cigarette Butt presentation took place Wednesday afternoon at Northern Michigan University’s Lydia Olson library. The presentation focused on the effects of tobacco litter in and around Lake Superior. It is a common misconception that it is cotton in the cigarette’s filter, but it is actually plastic that contains leftover toxins that are not biodegradable. Cigarette butts are considered litter and can lead to a $800 fine.
Even when thrown on the street, cigarette butts can make their way into Lake Superior.
“All storm drains in the city of Marquette lead directly into Lake Superior. No filtration system, nothing. Just down the pipes and straight into the lake. Anything that is thrown onto the street will end up in the lake most likely,” said Superior Watershed Partnership self-sufficiency educator, Madelyn Ek.
When cigarette butts find their way into the water, they can be consumed by animals or float onto the beach and become a toxic eyesore. After the presentation The Superior Watershed Partnership hosted a beach cleanup at Mcarty’s Cove Lighthouse. There are red buckets placed around the city of Marquette for individuals to safely dispose their cigarette butts.
It is encouraged that if you see cigarette butts or trash on the beach, pick them up and dispose of them.