Every time we plog, we have found the biggest culprit every time is cigarette butts. They are pervasive and minuscule, meaning that street cleaners largely ignore them.
This is not to say that it is their fault, as the cigarettes are thrown there by the general public.
A recent study has gone as far as to suggest that cigarettes, not straws, are the worst contaminant of the oceans.
While it is not possible for people to instantly quit smoking, it is important to realise the damage caused from cigarette butts to the environment.
Small, lightweight and made of plastic (non-biodegradable cellulose acetate) they easily make their way into drains, rivers and many other water bodies that can carry cigarettes to the ocean.
There, toxins can remain for up to 10 years, severely damaging any creatures that eat them.
It is super important that we dispose of cigarette butts correctly, and if possible, cut down and work on quitting smoking altogether. Both your body and the environment will thank you for it!
For more information on how to quit smoking, there are several links below that offer help and support.
Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health:
Hong Kong Asthma Society: