Can You Flush Cigarettes Down the Toilet?

toilet-flush-water

Cigarette butts have a massive global influence on the environment. They also have a detrimental effect on the particular houses of irresponsible people with their cigarette disposal.

Who’d have guessed that a cigarette butt could clog a toilet? Many individuals, it appears, are unconcerned about the fact that flushing cigarettes endanger their plumbing. But, expert plumbers recommend that it is always preferable to discard the butts in the garbage can and not the toilet.

Because everything flushed appears to disappear suddenly, some individuals find their toilets to be convenient garbage containers. However, flushing objects that should be disposed of in the garbage disposal is not a good idea. Toilets are exclusively designed to dispose of human waste—never use them for anything other than what they were intended.

In this post, I’ll make you understand whether flushing cigarettes down the toilet is appropriate, how you can unclog a toilet with cigarettes, whether cigarettes can be recycled and whether they are biodegradable, and how you can dispose of cigarettes at your home.

Is It Okay to Flush Cigarettes Down the Toilet?

No, it’s not okay to flush cigarette butts down the toilet. They can block your pipes in less time than you may think, just like the cotton balls; plus, there’s much wastage of water when a single butt is flushed.

Besides, cigarettes contain hazardous chemicals that pollute water supplies and are harmful to fish, other creatures, and the environment.

Flushing the butts may appear to be the safest approach to ensure that they are entirely gone.

Still, those cigarette butts eventually wind up in the water, polluting rivers and lakes as well as the ecosystem.

You should never flush cigarettes down the toilet because they contain elements that will not deteriorate over time. The foam filters and plastic mouthpieces on cigarettes are not biodegradable.

These cigarette components will undoubtedly cause clogging issues in your toilet. Furthermore, they can also accumulate in the septic or sewer system and cause significant harm. 

Additionally, you need to consider the number of hazardous chemicals that enter the water system when cigarettes are flushed. Soaking cigarette butts in water causes substantial pollution. This pollution has the potential to affect animals in rivers and the seas and generate other environmental issues.

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How Do You Unclog a Toilet With Cigarettes?

A blocked toilet is usually a nuisance—it’s a frequent home problem that, if not managed properly, may swiftly escalate into an immense tragedy. On the other hand, a primary drain blockage is usually simple to rectify and may be addressed in a matter of minutes with a few daily used home objects.

Employment of a plunger is an excellent go-to option when you want to reopen blockages—especially for your toilet. While plunging, keep some water in the basin to ensure sufficient force is directed at the region.

To establish a tight suction on the drain hole at the bottom of the toilet, make sure to maneuver the plunger to get a good seal. Insert the plunger carefully into the drain, press down hard, and then gently lift.

Plunge up and down 10-20 times, or until the clog work is loose—move the plunger gently and watch out for splashes. Then, to test whether it worked, flush the toilet.

Straighten the coat hanger into a long rod if the plunger approach fails. Deeply insert it into the drain until it comes into contact with the obstruction. By twisting the hanger in a circular motion, you can push through and loosen the obstruction. Subsequently, flush the drain to clean it of the newly unclogged debris.

To clean debris off your hanger or plunger, flush once or twice more, then place them in the bucket to avoid dripping on the floor. Wash and sanitize the plunger and discard the coat hanger to prevent the spread of germs.

Failure to disinfect adequately could endanger one’s health. After removing any clog, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands and disinfect the toilet, as plunging can occasionally generate splashes that are not immediately visible. Additionally, you should also clean the floor surrounding your bathroom.

Preventing clogs is the best line of defense—nothing, but toilet paper should be flushed into your toilet. The common causes of clogged pipes are cigarette butts, hand wipes, feminine items, paper towels, and thick tissues. Therefore, if you drop something in the toilet by accident, pull it out immediately rather than flushing it.

Flushed cell phones and children’s toys may be expensive to remove from drains, often needing the replacement of entire sections of drywall and piping—this could be a problematic technique if you reside in an apartment building.

Can Cigarettes Butts Be Recycled?

Yes, cigarettes butts can be recycled with other paper types since cigarette packs are made of paperboard—remove the outer plastic and inner foil package first. Even though cigarette butts are rarely recycled at the municipal level, certain businesses recycle them.

When the cigarette butts and their packaging are gathered, they are segregated by composition and melted into hard plastic that may be remolded to manufacture new recycled industrial products such as plastic pallets. In a specific procedure, the ash and tobacco are separated and composted.

TerraCycle, a corporation that seeks to find a method to recycle everything, provides a free Cigarette Waste Recycling Program. Simply sign up with TerraCycle, collect the debris, and contact them for recycling.

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Cigarette butts take 18 months to 10 years to decompose—discarded butts leech toxins and heavy metals into the environment—the same components that kill smokers.

They frequently wash down public gutters, polluting our waterways and causing harm to fish and other species. Recycling cigarette butts is an important technique to keep our environment clean.

Do you smoke, or do you live or work among smokers? Maybe you’re one of our champs who collects cigarette butts from beaches, parks, and local streets.

The TerraCycle Cigarette Waste Recycling Program accepts extinguished cigarettes. Never include other rubbish with these items to guarantee proper recycling. Besides, you can also recycle paperboard packaging through your local recycling program.

Although the service is free, you must supply your containers. TerraCycle now offers a range of cigarette Zero Waste containers that include pre-paid shipping labels if you are a business or simply want a handy solution for packaging and delivering cigarette waste.

Are Cigarette Butts Biodegradable?

No, the plastic fibers in cigarettes are not biodegradable, which means they will not degrade biologically in the presence of living creatures.

Although cigarettes do not decompose spontaneously, they might break down gradually in the presence of environmental variables such as rain and sunlight.

The white cotton element of most cigarette filters is constructed of plastic fibers, which can take up to ten years to degrade.

Tobacco includes heavy metals and other compounds that can poison species that consume abandoned tobacco cigarette stubs. Toxic materials also leak into the land and water. The accumulation of undesired elements affects the chemical balance and acidity of the soil, affecting the health of plants growing in it.

Cigarette ashes pollute the environment by running into drains and then into rivers, beaches, and oceans. According to preliminary research, organic chemicals such as pesticide residues, nicotine, and metal infiltrate into aquatic habitats through cigarette butts, becoming extremely harmful to fish and microorganisms.

Encouragement of cigarette waste recycling will result in a significant reduction in the volume of abandoned garbage. On the other hand, treatment will enhance the growth of plants.

How to Dispose of Cigarettes at Home?

Before disposing of cigarette butts and ashes, soak them in water. Use a full ashtray with a broad, stable base or a container filled with sand to gather ashes. Consider using the 700 butt bins on city walls, street lamps, or a pocket ashtray pouch. Never throw away flamed cigarette butts.

Never leave cigarettes or smoking materials in flower pots, peat moss, or your lawn or garden. Instead, use a deep, wide, solid metal container with a cover that is partially filled with sand or water and should be emptied regularly.

Don’t smoke in a home that uses oxygen—put it out if you’re sleepy or tired. Besides, check under cushions for cigarettes if some people have been smoking in the house.

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Smokers should completely extinguish their cigarettes in an ashtray or non-combustible container. Throwing lighted cigarettes out of moving vehicles or directly into the ground not only increases the risk of fire but is also deemed littering and can result in prosecution.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can You Put Cigarettes Down The Drain?

Though sewers help remove wastewater, putting cigarettes down them is not recommended. Toxins are transmitted into our rivers and seas by smoking waste, so never toss butts down the drain. You should carry a portable ashtray with you at all times, and you’ll never be in a circumstance risking a fine.

2. Are Cigarettes Compostable?

The cigarette is biodegradable, but the filters are not. They include cellulose acetate, a material that can take up to ten years to decompose when exposed to sunlight. Although cigarettes are biodegradable, they aren’t environmentally friendly.

3. Can You Throw Cigarettes On The Ground?

No, It’s harmful to throw cigarettes on the ground—they carry toxic waste, contaminating water once it enters the environment. When a cigarette is not extinguished and subsequently discarded, it creates a fire hazard. Every year, cigarettes cause around 90,000 fires.

4. Where Do You Hide Cigarette Butts?

When you need to hide your cigarette butts in your room, put them at the back of your closet or in a hollowed-out book. If your parents are the type to put your laundry away, don’t hide your cigarettes in your sock drawer. Alternatively, keep them in drawers that are infrequently used or difficult to access.

5. What Is Field Stripping a Cigarette?

Field stripping a cigarette is the process of breaking down and properly disposing of a cigarette. When field stripping, the two basic procedures are rolling out the cigarette and unwrapping the cigarette.

6. What Happens When You Put a Cigarette In Water?

When you put a cigarette in water, the butts leak several chemicals, including heavy metals, nicotine, and ethylphenol. They may constitute a continuous point source of pollution of aquatic habitats after disposal.

7. What Can I Do With Old Cigarette Butts?

Sign up for TerraCycle, gather your waste, and ship it to them for recycling. Cigarette butts can take 18 months to 10 years to decompose after being thrown on the street, beach, or wherever they fall. Moreover, chemicals and heavy metals are often leached into the environment by discarded butts.

8. Do Cigarette Butts Break Down in a Septic Tank?

Cigarette butts are non-biodegradable. They will clog parts of the tank if disposed of through drains. Therefore, you should eliminate them as soon as possible so as not to accumulate and cause difficulties.

9. Why Are Cigarette Butts Harmful To The Environment?

Cigarette butts are harmful to the environment; they are taken as runoff to drains and other water bodies when it rains. When cigarette butts are infiltrated into aquatic habitats, they become incredibly harmful to fish and microorganisms.

About Sarah Walker

Sarah is a homemaker and is passionate about fixing little things in and around her house. She loves to do DIY hacks and keeps on writing about those things in her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her twins Cathy and Mickey.