Sarasota News Leader

04/18/2014

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In recognition of Earth Day, members of Sarasota County's Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) chapter will travel to Siesta Key Beach to pick up litter from cigarettes and other tobacco products, the county has announced. Earth Day is Saturday, April 26. The students plan to be on the beach from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., a news release notes. "People don't always realize that smoking is not only bad for their health, it is bad for the environment," said Riverview High SWAT student Faye Ramos in the release. "This is the second year SWAT has organized a beach cleanup; we hope that more people will be aware of the negative impact tobacco is hav- ing on our community." Cigarettes make up the majority of litter in the world, the release points out. Their rem- nants comprise more than 4.5 trillion pieces of litter each year, the release says. Such statistics tell only one part of the story, the release notes. Cigarette butts and the remnants of tobacco leaves resulting after a cigarette is extinguished "contain hun- dreds of toxic chemicals that can leach into waterways or be ingested by wildlife," the release adds. Before state law stopped Sarasota County from banning tobacco products on Siesta Public Beach, visitors often lauded the absence of cigarette butts in the sand. Photo by Rachel Hackney SWAT CHAPTER TO RID SIESTA PUBLIC BEACH OF TOBACCO LITTER NEWS BRIEFS

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