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Cigarette butts found as top polluters of Jeju beaches
Cigarette butts are the most common items polluting Jeju beaches, according to a non-profit environmental group that is staging a coastal cleanup campaign.
According to the Korea Federation for Environmental Movement of Jeju, cigarette butts account for 22.9 percent of the total, followed by plastic debris with 22.5 percent.
Other disposable trash commonly found on Jeju beach are straws, tableware, and beverage bottles.
Cigarette butts are very harmful to the marine ecosystem due to the cellulose acetate found in their filters.
Cellulose acetate is a plastic-like material that does not decompose easily.
A single cigarette filter contains thousands of those tiny microplastic particles.
Hundreds of volunteers have taken part in the association's campaign since May 29 and have collected about 500 kilograms of trash.