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9 Aug 2019 - BBC - Plastics, arsenic, lead and nicotine from butts can all harm marine life. Just one per litre of water can be highly toxic to fish, research suggests.

Cigarette butts - flicked into drains, mashed under foot or dropped in parks - are a common sight around the world.

But a campaign launched by a group of French teenagers to tidy them up has highlighted their environmental impact.

Amel Talha launched the hashtag #FillTheBottle after a friend collected cigarette butts in a water bottle and posted a photo on Twitter.

The campaign has inspired thousands to clean up what is thought to be the most common form of litter around the globe.

"This is a big problem in France but also all around the world," the 18-year-old tells the BBC, adding she is "extremely happy and proud" that the campaign has had such an effect.

Amel's friend Jason Prince first posted an image of a plastic water bottle filled to the cap with cigarette butts last Wednesday.

"20 minutes to fill this 1 litre bottle in an area of less than 50m," he wrote. "This is extremely serious."

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49263685?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/science_and_environment&link_location=live-reporting-story

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Publication date: 
Publication Organisation: 
BBC News
Publication Author: 
Toby Luckhurst
Thematic Area: 
Marine pollution