A total of 370.25 pounds of cigarette butts were collected during the latest Palau Pledge Challenge.

This year a total of 70 classes from 16 schools across Palau participated in the challenge.

Adora Nobuo, a staff from the Friends of the Palau Marine Sanctuary said that the challenge was is to reinforce positive behavior amongst kids.

“The objective is to show kids how small a cigarette butt is, yet it has a huge negative impact on our environment. By learning the importance of proper disposal they can influence family members to do the same,” said Nobuo.

She went on to say that “their actions demonstrate their interest in protecting the environment.”

Coming in first place for the Cigarette Butt Challenge was the 4th grade class from Maris Stella School with a total of 32.5 pounds of cigarette butts collected, then second was 1st grade B class from George B. Harris Elementary School with 20.5 pounds of cigarette butts, and the 3rd place also went to George B. Harris Elementary School 7th grade class with a total of 18.5 pounds of cigarette butts collected.

According to research 5,697 pounds of cigarette butts gets thrown away every year in Palau and a lot of it goes to the ocean.

Their findings also mention that cigarettes are made of thousands of microplastic that cannot biodegrade and are toxic for the ocean as well as a choking hazard for the fish.

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