Butt-Free Beaches: Submit Testimony

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The Maui County Council needs to hear from you, whether you are a permanent resident of Maui County or a visitor to our amazing island. Signing our online petition is a great first step, but emailing personal testimony to the Council is even better.

Testimony can be emailed directly to the County Council at county.clerk@mauicounty.us, and must be received by noon Monday April 21st. You can also read sample testimony.

Things to include in your testimony:

1. Your name and where you're from.

2. Frame the issue. What's the big deal with cigarette butt litter?  How is it different than other types of litter? Are cigarette butts particulary pervasive (yes!) and toxic (yes!). Let the Council know why the issue needs to be addressed.

3. Mention how you are directly connected to the issue of cigarette butt litter.  For example, do you participate in regular beach cleanups and remove numerous cigarette butts?  Or are you a beach goer that is impacted by cigarette butt litter when you go to the beach? Have you personally witnessed marine animals (like birds or sea turtles) ingesting cigarette butts?  Make this part personal.

4. Add some facts.  Check out our Smoke-Free Beaches FAQ page for more information and facts about cigarette butt litter. Mention the impact of cigarette butt litter on wildlife, or point out how other cities and counties around the country have outlawed smoking on beaches.  People also argue that current litter laws suffice - which is definitely not the case. Some facts:

  • An estimated 2 trillion cigarette butts are littered each year
  • Cigarette butts contain 165 chemicals that can begin leaching into the ocean within one hour of contact with the water
  • A total of 185 cities and municipalities around the country have implemented smoke-free beaches ordinances
  • Over 100 miles of Southern California is smoke-free
  • Both the islands of O'ahu and Hawai'i Island (the Big Island) have smoke-free beaches
  • Cigarette butt litter harms wildlife, both on land and in the sea

5. Bring it full circle. Summarize why you support smoke-free beaches and ask the Council to also support the bill. Thank the Council and let them know that you hope they will choose to promote healthy ocean environments.