4 years ago, I set up Companies for Good.
I did it because I wanted to make this world a better place.
So far, we’ve done 300+ team activities with 200+ businesses.
We’ve helped companies support people of determination, donate food, and hygiene packs, and toys to children who have nothing, and protect the environment by planting trees and learning new, sustainable ways to live.
And we’ve helped clean up nature.
With amazing businesses from across UAE, we’ve done clean ups in mangrove forests and wadis. We’ve cleaned beaches. We’ve even cleaned the ocean – in kayaks and scuba suits.
And we’ve realized one thing: among other plastic litter, cigarette butts are a HUGE issue. They make up 38% of the total waste littered on the planet. According to Terramar Project about 2.3 million cigarette butts are littered every minute. And people usually don’t know that cigarette butts may take up to 15 years (yes, that’s right, fifteen entire years) to decompose.
And before cigarette butts decompose, they cause damage: to our beaches, to our oceans and to the wildlife that lives there.
The other thing we realized is that cigarette butt litter is totally avoidable. It’s caused by a lack of awareness and understanding. Many adult smokers just don’t know that cigarette butts damage the environment. Moreover, following up on the global survey, Philip Morris commissioned a similar one this summer in the UAE and found out that the majority of legal aged smokers believe that cigarette butts decompose within a couple of months – similar to paper tissues and napkins. Furthermore, 10% of cigarette butts littered end up in rivers or the ocean.
If we don’t act now, we’re facing a future where there might be more cigarette butts in the ocean than fish. And this ugly future is not far away. This could happen in just 10 years.
So, we’re taking a stand.
We’re proud to endorse Our World Is Not An Ashtray: a global campaign supported by Philip Morris International to tackle cigarette butt litter around the world.
As well as continuing our activities to clean up beaches (all socially-distanced, with full safety precautions of course!) we’re collaborating with sustainability experts and influencers across the UAE to educate people, raise awareness and take action on cigarette butt litter.
Because they might be small, but cigarette butts are a big problem for the planet.
So, join us today – share the message, bin your butts properly, and if you see someone using our world as an ashtray, speak up.
You can find more information on the campaign here.
And if you’d like to join us in cleaning beaches and protecting wildlife across the UAE, sign up here.
Our world is not an ashtray. Let’s never treat it like one again.