The Impact of One Butt

One cigarette butt dropped on the ground may seem insignificant. Within the last twelve months 58,319 hunters purchased Wildlife Management Area (WMA) permits. What if 25% of those hunters (that's 14,579 by-the-way) dropped 5 butts each during hunting season on our WMAs?

Potentially that's 1,093,425 littered butts releasing at-least 16 toxic chemicals into the soil and waterways of South Carolina's WMAs. (Oh, it takes about 2-5 years for a cigarette butt to decompose). Cigarette butts are ugly, toxic and threaten wildlife. How, you ask? Littered butts are mistaken as a food source by fish, birds, and other wildlife.

Still not convinced of the impact? Consider this: when a butt is thrown into a river or lake, evidence suggests that the toxic chemicals released from the discarded tobacco portion of the butt is deadly even at small concentrations - only one butt per two gallons of water is hazardous.

White-tailed deer drinking from a pond

All animals need water to drink so the next time you see a cigarette butt on the ground, which may end up in the river or lake, think about the impact of that one butt multiplied by millions and how it might affect our wildlife.

Many of our hunters are good stewards to our WMAs and Heritage Preserves and appreciate the beautiful hunting places South Carolina is known for. They practice good hunter ethics and leave nothing behind but their footprints.