The Charleston Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation is bringing the international “Hold On To Your Butt” campaign to Charleston to address cigarette litter in Folly Beach. Cigarette butts are the most commonly littered item in the world and they account for nearly one in every five items collected during a Charleston Surfrider cleanup. Many don’t know that 98% of cigarette butt filters are composed of cellulose acetate, a non-biodegradable plastic, which can take up to 25 years to decompose. Cigarette butts leach toxins when wet, posing a threat to both human and marine life.
The driving initiative of the campaign is the installation of 20 newly designed cigarette butt receptacles and signs along Folly’s main beach accesses and outside of partnering local businesses. Charleston Surfrider is also providing portable cigarette ashtrays for partnering businesses to pass out to their patrons, particularly useful for packing cigarette butts back off the beach. The initiative is made possible by a $5000 grant from Keep America Beautiful and the support of Folly businesses and leaders. Current partners on the campaign include City of Folly Beach, Charleston County Park Recreation Commission, and 14 local businesses including Berts, Low Life, Jack of Cups, McKevlins Surf Shop, The Washout, Saint James Gate Irish Pub, TacoBoy, Surf Bar, Snapper Jacks, Planet Follywood, and Lunar Light Botanicals. A special mural designed by local artist, Seakemp, will be displayed for the length of the campaign outside of McKevlins Surf Shop.
“We have been working on launching this campaign for over 8 months now. With the extra funding, assistance from the City of Folly and great partnerships with the local businesses, our dream of HOTYB is coming true – even in the midst of COVID.” [Becky Sheftall, HOTYB coordinator, Charleston Surfrider].
The campaign will run till this November, but the infrastructure will stay forever. Charleston Surfrider hopes everyone benefits from the new updates on Folly and asks smokers to dispose of cigarette butts responsibly or skip the plastic by rolling their own. It’s time to end the last acceptable social littering norm and for people to “Hold On To Your Butt!”
Thank You To Our Partners