Cigarette butts hurt the local economy

Cigarette butts are costly to clean up — increasing costs for street sweeping, park and beach maintenance, and storm drain cleaning. And the bill is passed on to the community!

Cigarette Butt Costly to clean up

As the most commonly littered item on the planet, cigarette butts can be found almost anywhere including sidewalks, street gutters, in public parks and buried in the sand at the beach. Since they are non-biodegradable, they increase landfill demands and add costs to municipalities' waste disposal programs.

Wasaga Beach Park staff will attest to the problem of cigarette butt litter, and some shoreline residents say it is particularly disgusting after long weekends. Local park users and gate fees help to pay for the cost of park staff hired to maintain beach cleanliness at Wasaga Beach.

The partners are providing tools at Wasaga Beach 5 – butt we need your help! Reduce the environmental impact of butt waste by using available butt receptacles, and share this information with your friends. By helping to reduce cigarette butt litter in this area, expansion of the program to other beaches in Wasaga becomes possible.

What about other Lake Huron beaches? If you are visitor to other beaches in the province, look at this list from the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation for those beaches that participate in the program.

Want to start a butt-free campaign at your beach? Visit for a toolkit of free resources you can use to spread the word. (The Blue Flag program is managed by Environmental Defence.)

Sometimes we lose sight that everything is interconnected! A healthy environment literally sustains us (food, recreation, medicines, improving the spirit, and more). If we poison our environment through cigarette butt litter and other activities, we are diminishing our most valuable asset.

Butt..what can I do?

Thanks for caring! Your beaches from Wasaga Beach to the world, need to be cigarette BUTT-FREE. Here are some ways you can help beaches:

Thank you to these references and sources
  • Alexander, Karen. 2015 Butt Free Beach (Program backgrounder). Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation
  • Bejtic, Narcis. Environmental Network’s Application for the Great Lakes Guardian Fund 2017. Environment Network
  • Booth, David J. and Gribben, Paul and Parkinson, Kerryn. Impact of cigarette butt leachate on tidepool snails . Marine Pollution Bulletin 95 (2015) 362–364. Volume 95, Issue 1, 15 June 2015, Pages 362–364. Retrieved from ScienceDirect at
  • Environmental Defence Butt Free sign. “Keep your butts off the beach.”
  • Lee, Wenjau and Lee, Chin Chun. Developmental toxicity of cigarette butts – An underdeveloped issue. Ecotoxicology andEnvironmentalSafety113(2015)362–368. Volume 113, March 2015, Pages 362-368. Retrieved from ScienceDirect at
  • Novotny, Thomas E. and Lum, Kristen and Smith, Elizabeth and Wang, Vivian and Barnes, Richard. Cigarettes Butts and the Case for an Environmental Policy on Hazardous Cigarette Waste. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health ISSN 1660-4601. Retrieved from
  • Slaughter, Elli and Gersberg, Richard M and Watanabe, Kayo and Rudolph, John and Stransky, Chris and Novotny, Thoma E. Toxicity of cigarette butts, and their chemical components, to marine and freshwaterfish. Source: Tobacco Control, Vol. 20, Supplement 1: The Environmental Burden of CigaretteButts (May 2011), pp. i25-i29. Published by: BMJ. Retrieved from
  • The Tourism Company in association with IBI Group. Wasaga Beach Tourism Strategy. November 2017.
  • 2017 partners

    Brian Nabuurs. Making a difference!

    Brian Nabuurs

    Brian has volunteered dozens of hours to reduce litter on Wasaga Beach. Thanks Brian for your inspiring volunteerism to help our communities and the environment! Join Brian in helping to make beaches BUTT-FREE!

    "This has been a very positive experience from the very beginning. My inspiration originally came from Karen Alexander at LHCC (Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation). I thought it truly needed to be in Wasaga. I felt that if we wanted more people to take part in the initiative, it needed to be on a grander stage. Wasaga Beach is the perfect spring board to bring national attention to the issue and develop a template for this initiative for each community to duplicate."