Carrington Henley set out to find cigarette butts, and he didn’t have to look hard.
On a bid to become an Eagle Scout, the Mt. Hope High School senior got up early on a cold, rainy and snowy Saturday morning, put on cold weather gear and left for Burr’s Hill Park. He, his father Larry and five fellow scouts in Troop 25 picked up a few hundred butts there, then headed north.
As they walked, they picked. They got more by the boat ramp and quahog docks, more by Blount, more by the Town Wharf. By the time they reached the finish line at Main and Water streets around noon, Carrington and the rest had picked up just over 1,000 cigarette butts. They also found lots of other things … coffee cups, bags of trash and even two jackets.
It was all for Carrington’s Eagle Scout project. The Warren resident said he wanted to raise awareness to the fact that cigarette butts do not biodegrade and harm wildlife and the environment.
The environment “is something I’ve always been passionate about,” he said. Apart from just picking up the butts, he wants to have a permanent impact on the area, and he said he’ll contact the town in a bid to have trash receptacles placed at Burr’s Hill. In the meantime, he’s got “mountains of paperwork” to do before his Eagle Scout board of review.
Carrington is steering a path toward the United States Navy, and plans to go ROTC after graduating from Mt Hope. Naval service is a tradition in his family.
A few facts about cigarette butts:
Thirty-two percent of litter at storm drains is tobacco products – preventcigarettelitter.org
Cigarette butts remain the most littered item in the United States – preventcigarettelitter.org
Only 10 percent of cigarette butts make it into an ashtray or the trash – preventcigarettelitter.org