Pittsburgh needs money. They are in a budgetary nightmare. I’ve decided that the best way for them to raise some easy extra cash is by fining people who litter. I recently read an article that said the fine for littering is being raised in Pittsburgh to $25. An easy way to jack up revenue for special projects and keep the city clean is to fine litterers. Specifically, smokers. Smokers (cigarettes specifically) discard tens of billions(!!) of cigarette butts yearly in the United States. Those filters aren’t very biodegradable, nor are they attractive lying all over the ground. Most people think that the filters are cotton and very biodegradable. Well, guess what? They aren’t. The filters are made of cellulose acetate tow. For those of you that smoke filterless cigs, more power to you. That’s some serious biodegradable material. Although it’s too bad you will most likely be dead in 15 years.
Quick math… Let’s assume that 25% of the people in Pittsburgh smoke cigarettes. Of those, let’s say that only 8% of those people are hardcore and smoke a pack a day. Let’s assume then that each of those 8% get busted (under the new “stop littering you ignorant moron” program) maybe twice a year. If there are 250,000 people in the greater Pittsburgh area (or visiting at any given time,) that amounts to an even one million dollars.
In my experience, there are very few smokers that actually put their used filters where they are supposed to go. I’d like to see Pittsburgh make them put their money where their butts are.