Abundance and Distribution of Cigarette Butts on Coastal Environments: Examples from Southern Spain
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DepartmentBiología; Ciencias de la Tierra
SourceJ. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(2), 129
Litter on beaches is one of the most difficult problems in coastal management and every year, much efforts and public money are invested to try to alleviate and solve the problem. Cigarette butts (CB) are among the most widespread abandoned personal items in the world. In Spain, they are found on all types of beaches, where they are discarded by beach users; however, rivers and streams can also deposit CB on shores. This paper analyses the abundance of CB on different beaches in Southern Spain in order to address and better understand this relevant environmental problem and propose sound solutions to decrease or eliminate their presence. The main factors favouring CB accumulation were identified, namely the seasonality and number of beach users, beach typology (remote, rural, village or urban sites), type of beach sediment and methods and frequency of cleaning operations. Mean and median CB abundance values per 100 m of beach length, calculated from all the data used in this study, were 159 and 68 items, respectively. The largest number of CB were observed at urban sites, followed by village, rural and remote beaches. Further, sand beaches registered higher values of CB than cobble or pebble beaches.