Are you thinking of ways to save the planet from plastic while scratching your head and smoking a cigarette? Think again.
Your one habit may be ruining the planet more than tons of plastic, which also does no good to the planet of course.
While plastic items have always posed a threat to nature, a new study from the Anglia Ruskin University reveals a bigger problem to our environment - cigarette butts.
Sadly, the study states that more than 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are discarded each year, making them the leading cause of pollution in the world.
Apart from being the single largest source of pollution in oceans, cigarette butts also pose a threat to soil & vegetation across the globe.
It reduces germination success by 27% approximately, reports BBC News.
The reason why this happens is because cigarette butts contain a filter, which comprises of cellulose acetate fibre - a type of bioplastic, toxic for soil patterns.
Even though seriously harmful for the environment, dropping butts is a socially acceptable norm, which people take very casually, believes the study's lead author, Dr Dannielle Green.
Despite being a common sight littering streets and parks worldwide, our study is the first to show the impact of cigarette butts on plants. We found they had a detrimental effect on the germination success and shoot length of both grass and clover, and reduced the root weight of clover by over half.
Cigarette filters take years, if not decades, to naturally break down, reveals the study's co-author, Dr. Bas Roots.