Late Friday, I received an email from Lake Worth Ocean Rescue, our dedicated RPI partner for the William O. Lockhart Municipal (Lake Worth) Pier. The cigarette receptacles, which we installed with the help of a Cigarette Litter Prevention Program grant on June 7, were already full.
I took the short trip south to Lake Worth Saturday morning to find cigarette butts nearly spilling from the receptacle at the foot of the pier. The pier’s bait house employees were kind enough to help me open the salt-crusted lock on the receptacle to collect the butts. They asked me to leave them a set of keys and we made a deal: they would monitor the bin closest to the bait house if we took care of the two further out on the pier. Done!
On my count, 632 cigarette butts and three cigar tips were properly discarded.
One cigarette butt stamped out on the pier’s deck may not seem like it could do much harm to the great, big ocean, but the cumulative effect of everyone’s cigarette butts every day leaves a lot of plastic filters and chemicals with the potential to enter the water and be consumed by unsuspecting marine species.
Thank you to the Lake Worth Ocean Rescue lifeguards, who not only keep beachgoers safe, but also work to protect marine life and to the Lake Worth Pier staff who are doing their part to be sure everyone minds their butts!