Toothbrushes, Straws And Cigarette Filters Harm The Environment

Cigarette butts fill up a dustbin at the smoking zone at Uhuru Park in Nairobi. Cigarette filters form the bulk of non-biodegradable waste. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By Anita Murage

As we move towards a more eco-conscious decade where we no longer litter, and decrease our greenhouse gas emissions for a cleaner and healthier environment, just how do everyday items contribute to the degradation of the environment even after we dispose of them in the ‘right’ way?

Two years ago, the government effected a ban on polythene bags, which were then a common fixture in everyday lives of citizens and harmful to the environment.

The National Environment Management Authority has since reported an 80 per cent compliance rate with the ban, overall cleanliness in most towns and an improvement in the collective attitude of Kenyans in matters of environmental consciousness.

Eco-Friendly Solutions

With the largest problem tackled, how can citizens incorporate eco-friendly solutions in their homes to further decrease their carbon footprint?

Beyond the health implications of tobacco smoking, it is also detrimental to the environment. Cigarette filters, a commonly discarded item, form the bulk of non-biodegradable items. Once disposed of, they take between 18 months to 10 years to decompose, according to a February 2018 report in the science journal, Elsevier.

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