Featured Image Credit: Twitter/ The Oregonian
So many beaches are littered with cigarette butts that it takes away from their natural beauty. Where children build sandcastles, turtles lay their eggs, and families take a dip in the water, cigarette butts are not far behind. They clutter the sand and water, causing damage to marine life. In fact, 52.9 million cigarette butts were collected over the past 25 years during the International Coastal Cleanup, an annual event sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy.
The accumulation of cigarette butts over the years has caused great concern. Two men from Santa Cruz, California decided to draw attention to the problem. Taylor Lane and Ben Judkins collected over 10,000 discarded filters found in the sand of Santa Cruz beaches. They then transformed the litter into a surfboard as part of a “upcycling” contest.
— Surfrider Foundation (@Surfrider) October 24, 2017
12 contestants competed to make a surfboard out of salvaged materials. Lane and Judkins spent three months constructing their board from a combination of cigarette butts and recycled styrofoam. They came away as victors at the contest, edging out the competitor, Francois Jaubert, who submitted a board constructed from a wooden carrot box.
Many beaches have started to implement no-smoking rules, coupled with large fines and even jail time for anyone who decides to ignore the newly imposed laws. People are stepping up their game in the fight to decrease cigarette butt littering, hoping to create cleaner beaches and healthier marine life.