Ask Cigarette Companies to Switch to Biodegradable Filters!

  • by: Julie M.
  • recipient: Susan M. Cameron, Chairman, President, CEO of Reynolds American, Inc.
When I attended music/art festival Symbiosis Oregon Eclipse this summer, I was overwhelmed with the positive energy and love flooding from the attendees as well as the beauty of the scenery -- tall evergreen trees standing proud around a lake permeating a dusty prairie.

Yet I was supremely disappointed by the number of cigarette butts attendees littered on site.

Leave no trace is a cornerstone of festival culture. We are told to pack it in, pack it out, and to avoid MOOP (Matter Out Of Place) on festival grounds. I was shocked by the number of people who didn't abide by this simple rule.

Cigarette butts are small, turning cleanup into back-breaking labor, and they do NOT biodegrade. Five trillion cigarettes are smoked annually, amounting to 1.7 billion pounds of waste. They are the most littered item on the planet. I have observed a culture of nonchalance amongst smokers, who frequently litter their filters on the ground without a care.

While we can definitely work on spreading the word about the environmental harms of pollution, changing culture is difficult and requires changing a lot of minds and behaviors. Yet changing a product is easy.

Please sign this petition to call on Reynolds American, Inc., which sells 28% of cigarettes in the U.S. (including Newport, Camel, Pall Mall, Natural American Spirit brands) to take responsibility and switch to biodegradable cigarette filters.

Biodegradable cigarette filters exist: a company called GreenButts has developed filters made from flax, hemp and cotton which degrade in a matter of days. So why are they not widespread? Sign now to tell Reynolds American, Inc. to adopt biodegradable filters!
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