Photographic artist Chris Jordan created a landscape image using discarded cigarette butts that shows smoking’s effect on the environment. It depicts 139,000 butts, which is the number that are smoked and discarded every 15 seconds in the U.S.
Jordan notes that cigarette butts are the top littered item found in America’s public spaces including parks, beaches, waterways and urban environments. They have far-reaching impacts on the environment as they leach toxic chemicals and carcinogens, contaminate water sources, and poison wildlife.
The filters are made of cellulose acetate, a type of plastic that does not biodegrade. The Atlantic Cities reports that Jordan gathered hundreds of discarded butts from Austin and his native Seattle, then photographed and digitally multiplied them to create the forest scene.