Survey on ashtrays: answers to the questions

Cigarette butts that end up on sidewalks and streets, it's a real plague! That is why the City of Brussels launched a playful awareness campaign. You will now find several colorful ashtrays at a number of locations in the centre or during some major events.

The principle is simple: offering smokers the opportunity to express their opinion by depositing their small but very polluting piece of waste in a box. The questions can be funny, related to the event, but also educational. For the 'informative' side, the City has opted to make smokers aware of the disastrous consequences of their pollution. Here are the answers to these questions:

500L or 5L?

Explanation: although a cigarette is smoked within about five minutes, it can take 12 years for a cigarette butt to completely disappear. Throwing away this small waste on the ground is therefore not an innocent gesture to the environment and public cleanliness. It is important to note that only one cigarette butt contaminates up to 500 liters of water, with the cigarette containing chemical and toxic substances. Knowing that 4,300 billion cigarette butts are thrown away each year (137,000 per second), the impact on the environment is enormous!

1 week or 12 years?

Explanation: although a cigarette is smoked within about five minutes, it can take 12 years for a cigarette butt to completely disappear. Throwing away this small waste on the ground is therefore not an innocent gesture to the environment and public cleanliness. It is important to note that only one cigarette butt contaminates up to 500 liters of water, with the cigarette containing chemical and toxic substances. Knowing that 4,300 billion cigarette butts are thrown away each year (137,000 per second), the impact on the environment is enormous!

5000 or 137 000 ?

Explanation: although a cigarette is smoked within about five minutes, it can take 12 years for a cigarette butt to completely disappear. Throwing away this small waste on the ground is therefore not an innocent gesture to the environment and public cleanliness. It is important to note that only one cigarette butt contaminates up to 500 liters of water, with the cigarette containing chemical and toxic substances. Knowing that 4,300 billion cigarette butts are thrown away each year (137,000 per second), the impact on the environment is enormous!

The butt or chewing gum?

Explanation: the most common waste is the butt. We throw 137,000 butts on the ground and in nature every second! This should not make us forget that all other waste also weighs heavily on a clean environment and nature. A part will stay there long and even survive us. If a paper handkerchief needs three months to be broken down in nature, a chewing gum takes five years. A fruit peel: 3 to 6 months. A subway ticket: 1 year. A plastic bag: 450 years!

155 cm or 55 cm?

Manneken-Pis is far from being one of the biggest statues of the City of Brussels. Being 55 cm from head to toe, it is among the most famous monuments of Belgium, if not the most famous. There are many versions of his story. Nicknamed the "Ketje of Brussels" or "Little Julien", Manneken-Pis was designed in bronze by Jérôme Duquesnoy the Elder in 1619. In 2019, he thus celebrates his 400th anniversary! More info:

Created on 11/06/2018 (modified on 13/12/2019)

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