GreenYes Digest V97 #158

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GreenYes Digest Sun, 6 Jul 97 Volume 97 : Issue 158

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Problems you can't solve otherwise to

Date: Sat, 5 Jul 1997 05:08:45 -0700 (PDT)
From: Pat Franklin <>

July 3, 1997 Contact: Pat Franklin
For Immediate Release July 3 - 202/797-6839
July 4 -6 301/387-5804


Cigarette Butts and Beverage Containers Top the List of Littered Beach Items

WASHINGTON, DC -- If you're headed for the shore this weekend, you can
expect to encounter more cigarette butts and beverage containers on the
beach than any other littered item. According to the 1996 annual beach
cleanup sponsored by the Center for Marine Conservation (CMC), the 608,759
cigarette butts collected make them the most littered item - by piece count
- on U.S. beaches. Beverage cans and bottles were second at 380,213
containers. Another 261,920 items associated with beverage containers
(bottle caps, pull tabs, six-pack rings and glass pieces) were also
collected, for a total of 642,133 pieces of "beverage containers and
associated goods."

But, Pat Franklin, Executive Director of the Container Recycling Institute
maintains that measuring litter by piece count is deceiving. "Measuring
litter by volume provides a more accurate measure of the visual impact of
litter," she said. "A can or bottle is a heck of a lot bigger than a
cigarette butt. In fact, the average beverage can or bottle is 150 times
bigger than a cigarette butt, and a broken bottle is lot more treacherous."

Franklin says beverage containers are gaining ground in the battle for the
most littered item on America's shorelines by piece count too. According to
CRI's analysis of CMC data, cigarette butts declined 30 percent last year,
while beverage containers dropped just 4 percent. "If one butt equals one
bottle, then beverage containers are the AVIS of beach litter," Franklin
said. "But on a volume basis, beer and soda cans and bottles hold the
Number One spot on the litter charts."

- more -
She noted that over 140,667 pieces of glass were collected during CMC's
beach cleanup, most of which were from broken beverage bottles. "That is
the kind of litter that is not only unsightly, but dangerous," she said.

Franklin maintains that beverage container litter is a rare sight in
California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New
York, Oregon and Vermont. "In those states beer and soda cans and bottles
have a deposit value ranging from 2.5 - 10 cents. The deposit value placed
on each container provides a disincentive to litter the cans and bottles."
she said.

Franklin says she is looking forward to the entire CMC report which will be
released in August. "For the past nine years," she said, "their data has
shown that in forty states where cans and bottles do not have a deposit
value, beverage container litter (as a percent of total beach litter) is
nearly three times as high as it is in the ten 'bottle bill' states."

"Cigarette butts are nasty things to see lying on a beach, or anywhere
else," said Franklin, "but let's face it, ten or twenty littered beer
bottles or soda cans are a lot more unsightly and take up a lot more beach
area than ten or twenty cigarette butts." More importantly," she said,
"cigarette butts don't cut bare feet -- broken bottles do."

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End of GreenYes Digest V97 #158