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Cigarette Butts for Dinner? This Campaign Points Out How Marine Litter Problems Impact Us All

TBWA\Helsinki and FLC Helsinki collaborate on pro bono campaign

Cigarette Butts for Dinner? This Campaign Points Out How Marine Litter Problems Impact Us All

Every year 4.5 trillion cigarette butts make their way to the environment including seas, making them the most common form of plastic pollution. To draw attention to the problem, a Finnish environmental organization, Keep The Archipelago Tidy Association, launched a startling campaign portraying a fish made of cigarette butts. Goal of the campaign is to raise awareness on the problem because after all, who would want to eat a cigarette butt fish?

Cigarettes have a significant impact on the environment. The weight of cigarette butts making their way into the environment annually equals about two Empire State Buildings. The littered cigarette butts often end up in seas and lakes releasing toxic chemicals into water and damaging the coastal environment and marine life. One of the major issues are harmful microplastics that make their way to fish’s digestive system and end up on people's plates. 

The organization behind the campaign makes comprehensive efforts to keep Finnish lakes and the sea clean. Their other activities vary from educational work to national and international project work.

“Nature is not an ashtray. Unfortunately, littering cigarette butts is common and it is often considered to be more acceptable than littering other rubbish. Cigarette butts are usually thrown away down to manholes on the streets, from where they often make their way to the nearest waterways. The reason for this might be that people are not aware of the effects of cigarette butt pollution. Hence, by informing people we hope they would become less indifferent to the issue,” says the programme manager of Keep the Archipelago Tidy Association, Julia Jännäri.

The ambition of the campaign is to raise awareness on the destructive effects of incorrectly disposed cigarette butts. Hopefully, the visual representation of the marine pollution problem will make people rethink where to throw away their cigarette butts.

Creative partners behind the idea and its execution are TBWA\Helsinki and FLC Helsinki. All work for the campaign was done pro bono.

“The cigarette butt fish represents the detrimental issue of the marine litter problem. Visually concretizing the fact that people are eating microplastics aims to draw attention and strike a chord with people,” says Kasimir Häiväoja, senior retoucher, partner of FLC Helsinki.

The campaign runs online, outdoors and in print.

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Jyrki Poutanen: Chief Creative Officer

Erno Reinikainen: Executive Creative Director

Anette Michelsson: Account Manager

Saana Simander: PR Strategist

Riina Leinimaa: Content Producer

Emmi Paajanen: Jr. Communications Specialist

Anna Harju: PR Trainee

Mikko Kaivo-oja, Tuomas Perälä, Joni Furstenborg: Copywriter

FLC Helsinki

Kasimir Häiväoja: Senior Retoucher & Partner

Erkko Huhtamäki: Senior 3D Artist & Retoucher


Sami Välikangas: Photographer

Keep the Archipelago Tidy Association

Nora Forsman: Communications Manager

Ida Sandberg: Communications Specialist

Julia Jännäri: Program Manager

Category: Corporate, Social and PSAs , Environment