By Diane Ako
EAST OAHU (KHNL) - Dozens of volunteers Celebrate Earth Day at Sandy Beach with B.E.A.C.H. and the Hawai`i State Bodysurfing Association. They cleaned up the beach and counted the number of cigarette butts collected. The clean-up was followed by a litter prevention campaign focusing on cigarette butts to keep the beach clean.
In order to do this, they handing out BUTTsOUT "pocket ashtrays" to smokers 18 years of age and older. The goal of the cigarette butt litter prevention campaign is to help the environment, save marine life and birds by giving BUTTsOUT " pocket ashtrays" to smokers so they would have a place to dispose of their cigarette butts instead of tossing it on the ground.
BEACH co-founder Suzanne Frazer says, "Marine debris is a big problem in Hawaii. Clearing marine debris from the ocean and beaches is important not just for restoring the natural beauty of beaches, but also for saving marine life. Birds and animals mistake trash such as plastic bags, cigarette lighters and bright colored plastic as food and may suffer from internal injury, intestinal blockage and then starvation. Dolphins, whales, sea turtles, sharks, seals and birds get caught in fishing nets, lines and other debris such as six-pack holders. Marine debris comes from both land-based and water-based sources. On land, rivers and streams can carry debris far from its source and out to the ocean. On the ocean, fishermen lose fishing nets, rope, and buoys while recreational boaters throw trash overboard thinking that it will just "disappear", when in fact, many types of debris can last in the ocean for years before completely disintegrating."