Let’s make cigarette butt littering socially unacceptable and share the education! Become part of the solution instead of being part of the pollution!

Cigarette Butts Recycled To Date:

500,000 K

The Hold On To Your Butt campaign aims to raise awareness about the environmental impact of cigarette butt litter on our oceans, waves and beaches, as well as lower the amount of pollution occurring through a recycling program. Our ultimate goal is to eliminate cigarette butt litter in Tofino & Ucluelet and beyond.

Cigarette butts are found littering streets, sidewalks and public spaces. These butts not only pose a waste management challenge for local governments financially and logistically, they also can find there way to the marine environment as run off in storm drains. In the marine environment, they pose a threat to marine life and a health and safety risk to individuals.

The campaign originated in San Diego in 2004, and now the Pacific Rim has joined the movement by installing cigarette canisters throughout Tofino and Ucluelet. We have partnered with TerraCycle who will recycle the cigarette butts into new products!

Recently, this cause gained a win as the District of Tofino implemented a smoking regulation bylaw in May 2018. This regulation includes a ban on smoking in public areas, including on beaches. Legally, this means people who smoke need to do so in designated smoking areas. Many of these smoking areas have a Surfrider recycling canister, and thus, more people will be inclined to use the canisters and not litter their butts on the streets and beaches. To read more about the Regulation, click HERE! Please see the signs below that are in partnership with Surfrider that have been put up throughout the District of Tofino.

Environmental Impact of Cigarette Butts

  1. 4.95 trillion cigarette butts are disposed of in our environment annually, thrown onto the ground an beaches
  2. Cigarette butts leach toxins when wet, they contain up to 60 known carcinogens, and they leach chemicals such as cadmium, lead and arsenic within an hour of contact with the water.
  3. Cigarette butt filters are made of cellulose acetate, a non-biodegradable plastic, which can take up to 25 years to decompose
  4. Cigarette butts have been ingested by sea turtles, birds, dolphins and other marine life, and in addition to the toxic chemicals they contain, these butts can also cause digestive blockages that lead to death.
  5. Cigarette butts are the most prevalent type of debris collected in beach clean-ups around the world, and they are consistently the number one form of litter (by count) found on our local beaches.
  6. On Pacific Rim beaches last year, more than 3,000 cigarette butts were collected during beach clean ups by volunteers! And more daily by the community and other groups in the communities.
  7. Litter clean up costs the over 11 billion annually in the US.
  8. Cigarette butts pose a significant fire threat.

Your business or organization can work with Surfrider Pacific rim, and sponsor a canister in a HOT BUTT location identified, and immediately improve our communities. Your sponsorship and leadership will help reduce the impact of cigarette butt litter on our oceans, waves and beaches. You will be recognized here on Surfrider Pacific Rim website and through other media outlets for your contribution to our community.

Community canisters are installed in locations approved by our local partners, who are responsible for maintenance and emptying the canisters within public areas. Surfrider Pacific Rim have already partnered with several business and we intend to expand those partnerships and continue to reduce cigarette butt litter in our environment. Only with YOUR HELP. We will need business to also take responsibility for emptying canisters and collecting butts, and work with volunteers to get butts to the central drop zone at public works, from there butts will be sent to Terracycle for recycling into new industrial products.

Lets make cigarette butt littering socially unacceptable and share the education!! Become part of the solution instead of being part of the pollution!

Current HOTYB Canister Locations:

If you do not happen to be near one of these entrances when discarding a butt, or have picked up a butt that has been littered and there is no canister in sight, HOLD ON to it until you get to the nearest location below!


  • Tofino Municipality office
  • Tofino Skatepark
  • Tofino 1st st dock (by picnic tables)
  • Tonquin Beach entrance (on side the washroom)
  • North Chesterman beach washrooms (in between washroom doors)
  • South Chesterman beach washrooms (facing out to car park)
  • Royal Canadian Legion
  • Common Loaf
  • Tofino Motel
  • The Distillery on Industrial Way
  • Wolf in the fog
  • Wickaninnish Inn
  • Tofino Hospital: front entrance and side entrance
  • Studio One – on pillar next to Live to Surf
  • Ecolodge: car park under tin building
  • Crystal Cove: shower building, beach entrance, and staff area
  • Pacific Sands: beside front desk, both beach entrances, and Surfside Grill
  • Tin Wis: Carving shed at the back of car park
  • Ocean Village: entrance and BBQ area
  • Long Beach Lodge Resort: car park close to entrance, BBQ area
  • Shelter Restaurant – all three throughout car park
  • Tree House Gift Co (awaiting instalment, location TBD)
  • Shed Restaurant on side of building, and in front of Shed in the bus stop
  • The Shore: hydro pole next to Wingen Lane
  • Tofino Brewing Company
  • The Maquinna
  • Whaler’s Inn Hostel
  • Tofino Distillery
  • Mackenzie Beach Resort
  • Harbour Authority
  • Tofino Resort and Marina


  • Ucluelet landing (by the stairs at Main and Peninsula)
  • Ucluelet Community Centre
  • Ucluelet Co-op Grocery
  • Ucluelet Co-op Gas
  • Howler’s Restaurant
  • Ucluelet Promenade (on the stair railig in middle in front of village green)
  • Barkley Cafe
  • Water’s Edge

Please join Surfrider Pacific Rim and kindly help direct smokers to these canisters, and let them know their butts will be recycled!

Please reach out to our Chapter Manager if you would like to be part of this epic campaign, buy a private canister, or volunteer for the HOTYB team!

HOLD ONTO YOUR BUTTS! Hashtag any butts you want to share #HOTYB!