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Holy smokes! 57 kg worth of cigarette butts picked up in Igloolik

People in Igloolik, Nunavut, are noticing how clean their streets and public spaces are after picking up 57 kilograms worth of cigarette butts during its community cleanup.

With an average cigarette weighing 1 gram, that's roughly 57,000 cigarette butts

People in Igloolik, Nunavut, collected thousands of cigarette butts as part of their community cleanup in June. (Submitted by Lucy Kappianaq)

People in Igloolik, Nunavut, are noticing how clean their streets and public spaces are after picking up 57 kilograms worth of cigarette butts during its community cleanup.

With an average cigarette weighing about a gram, that's more than 57,000 cigarettes picked up over the two-week cleanup last month.

"We've been getting calls from people about how clean the public places and areas are. We've gotten some good comments," explained Louisa Kipsigaq, a community wellness worker in Igloolik who helped organize the project alongside Lucy Kappianaq.

"We've even gotten calls [from] people in other communities about how they can do it there," she said.  

"It's good for us, for the environment and it's safer for the kids who tend to pick cigarette butts up," Kappianaq said.

The community held a contest to see who could pick up the most garbage. It ran for two weeks in June, ending off with a barbecue and feast at the RCMP detachment. The winner had picked up 10-kilograms worth of butts, winning a tanned seal skin and two gift cards.

"They were very proud," Kappianaq said. "Some even had tears. It was good, it was great. People are feeling proud and happy."

With files from Qavavao Peter