Naval Base San Diego continues to “Kick Butts”

Last Updated : 5/24/2012 2:26:53 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Justin L. Webb, Naval Base San Diego Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO— Naval Base San Diego (NBSD) officially re-launched its anti-cigarette butt litter campaign May 11.

“Kick Butts” was initially instituted here in February 2011, when NBSD leadership learned that world-wide, cigarette butts are the number one littered item: estimated at 178 million pounds a year and 95 percent of cigarette filters are made cellulose acetate, a type of plastic that takes years to degrade. 

NBSD Commanding Officer Capt. Winton Smith feels this program is just one more example of how base personnel are committed to being the best in environmental stewardship.

“I want to encourage our Sailors and civilian team members to commit themselves to ‘Kick Butts’,” said Smith. “Even if you don’t smoke, taking just a few minutes out of your day to police up these awful pollutants can really make a difference in preserving the appearance of our base and the local habitat.”

NBSD Physical Scientist HAdrianna delos Santos says that bringing awareness and education to not only base personnel but also to fleet, tenants, and commands onboard NBSD is the best way to reduce and eventually prevent cigarette butt litter.

"Recently, while I was sitting at the 32nd Street gate during the morning rush hour, I had the time to count the bits of cigarette litter on the ground,” added delos Santos. “Within a small 10-foot area, I easily counted over 50 cigarette butts.  I imagine each contributor thought a cigarette butt is too small to impact the environment.  But it does!  It is known that people are more likely to litter where there is existing litter.”

NBSD leadership wants to encourage smokers to help by carrying a portable or pocket ashtray when smoking outside; using a receptacle to dispose of cigarette butts, packaging, and lighting material; not throwing butts out car windows; and being aware of local litter ordinances.
“Many people are under the misimpression that all cigarette filters are biodegradable and that is just not true. I'm proud of our base and to help keep it clean, I believe, we can all do something as simple as placing our cigarette butts in ashtray receptacles," she added.