FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) - The State Department of Health and Environmental Control is trying to keep cigarette butts from littering Folly Beach.
The agency calls the butts "a toxic form of marine debris" that can lead to choking, poisoning or gastrointestinal blockages in birds, fish and sea turtles.
DHEC officials pointed to a laboratory study that showed a concentration of one cigarette butt in one liter of water killed half of all fish exposed to it within 96 hours.
Volunteers participated in two September events to collect and count the number of cigarette butts found on a quarter-mile stretch of the beach, the agency's website states. Those volunteers removed approximately 6,500 cigarette butts during the events.
In January, DHEC installed 15 new cigarette receptacles to encourage people to properly dispose of cigarette litter.
The new receptacles are on walkovers at the following locations:
- First access East of the pier, next to the pier parking lot
- 2nd East
- 3rd East
- 4th East
- 5th East (beach-side, on sand fencing post)
- 6th East
- 8th East
- 9th East (beach-side, on sand fencing post)
- Washout second walkover
- Washout third walkover
- Washout fourth walkover
- First access West of Tides parking lot
- Access between 2nd and 3rd West
- 3rd West
- 4th West
DHEC plans to conduct two follow-up events this September to determine whether the amount of smoking-related litter has increased, decreased or remained constant.