Gerard Ans and Simon Suratt, volunteers with the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, Station 64, found ropes and cans during the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup on July 22. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

In Our Opinion: Break the habit

Mind your single-use plastics and cigarette butts before Prince Rupert is buried in it

If a whopping two kilograms of cigarette butts was found in the Rushbrook area over the weekend, then how many butts are there across this city, the province, the planet?!

In May 2017, another group of residents collected more than 5,000 cigarette butts and the organizer challenged people to embrace pocket ashtrays and to use cigarette receptacles. But here we are, a year later, still picking up.

It’s terrifying to think that such a simple act of flicking a cigarette could add up to so much weight in trash over time.

Let’s turn this terrifying thought of being buried under a mountain of cigarette butts around.

READ MORE: Shoreline Cleanup along Rushbrook ropes in 309kg of waste

What if you were that one person who picked up the trash, like the 40 volunteers who were at the Shoreline Cleanup on Sunday? If one person picked up two pieces of garbage daily, would it solve: the dumping of trash; the flicking of cigarette butts; the infestation of single-use plastics that are taking over the seas, and our natural spaces?

There’s a war going on, and we’re all in it. Some of us fight back by refusing to use single-use grocery bags, or by bringing our own reusable coffee cups to the cafe. Some fight back by picking up after others.

They say it takes 40 days to change or break a habit. Let’s start small, even if it’s picking up one piece of litter and showing others how it’s done.

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