Littered landscape in Bogota
Littered landscape in Bogota
Pablo Correa

BOGOTÁ Colombians can add pollution caused by millions of cigarette butts to an already varied list of environmental calamities that include deforestation, forest fires and the pesticides and mercury dumped into their rivers.

It's the huge number of discarded cigarette butts that add gravity to what might seem an insignificant problem. In Bogotá alone, 95 million cigarette butts wind up on the pavement every year, and each cigarette end contains 4,000 chemical substances, 50 of which can cause cancer. Those that make their way into drains dissolve and pollute the country's waterways.

Universidad Piloto researchers William Lozano-Rivas, Rommel Bonilla and Alexandra Salinas compiled the stunning figures for a study published in the International Journal of Research Studies in Science, Engineering and Technology.

They found that the 95 million butts thrown to the ground constitute just 13% to 19% of all cigarettes smoked in Bogotá annually. Their weight, 16 tons, is but a fraction of the 6,500 tons of trash the capital generates daily and of the 10 million or more tons of trash produced every year nationwide.

Curiously, the study's social conclusion was that the government should amend its anti-smoking laws to keep cigarette butts from winding up into the drains. New laws had forced smokers outside of buildings and onto the pavement, but it seems nobody had thought to place ash disposals at building entrances.

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food / travel

Premium-Economy Pivot? Airlines Adjust Seat Size, Hope For Travel Rebound

Airlines are eyeing premium economy seating options to woo money-conscious business class travelers, and possibly weary economy passengers, back to air travel.

Changing travel patterns have led to airlines offering new products and reconfiguring cabins

René Armas Maes

-Analysis-

SANTIAGO — Back in May, I wrote that full-service airlines should start analyzing the costs, benefits, and impact of the demand of business travel, and see whether they would profit from reducing seats in executive class cabins, and from developing products like the premium economy class, which lies between business and economy in terms of comfort and price. They should start doing this in the last quarter of 2021 — I wrote back in May — especially considering that the demand for business class seats and its revenues were unlikely to recover in the following 12 months. And that is what is happening now.

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