Former CEO, Surfrider Foundation
Photo courtesy of Surfrider Foundation/Jim Moriarty

Photo courtesy of Surfrider Foundation/Jim Moriarty

The Inertia

This is what 20 pounds of cigarette butts look like.

We’re used to seeing piles of trash like this after a beach cleanup.

It’s pretty gross isn’t it?

We hope it is as sickening to you as it is to us.


I walk away with two thoughts after every beach cleanup. First, I acknowledge the simple fact that no one wants to pick up another person’s trash. No one. This makes me really appreciate all the volunteers that do just this… pick up other people’s trash… and they do this all over the world. Second, I think about all the people who actually littered… and wonder: what in the world are they thinking? How is it possible that in 2013 people think that throwing a cigarette butt on the ground is ok?

This photo was just sent to me by Norma Sellers from Surfrider’s Huntington Beach / Seal Beach chapter. To be accurate, this bag of cigarette butts is a combination of both what they’ve picked up off the beach during cleanups and also from the canisters they’ve installed on Main Street (thereby keeping them off the street and out of the ocean).

Our beaches are NOT ashtrays.


With more than 4,500,000,000,000 (that’s 4.5 trillion) cigarettes littered worldwide each year, they are the most littered item in the world. 

Keep up with Jim Moriarty, CEO of Surfrider Foundation, through his blog.


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