Environmental activists collected around 650,000 cigarette butts and piled them in a square in central Lisbon today in an attempt to mobilize people about the pollution caused by butts.

“We asked everyone in Portugal to join this project, to draw attention to plastic pollution. There are plastics hidden in cigarette butts and many people don’t know it,” explained Andreas Noe, a 34-year-old German who had this initiative.

“A small cigarette butt is a wonderful example of how each of us can take action, not only on cigarette butts and litter but also on marine pollution and, ultimately, on the climate crisis,” he added.

Noe settled in Portugal six years ago and then gave up his career (he is a molecular biologist) to focus solely on environmental protection. Two years ago he managed to collect about one million gopas in two months.

“We want to put an end to this problem by urging people to throw cigarette butts in the trash can or in pocket ashtrays, wherever they think, other than the ground,” said David Figueira, one of the participants in the mobilization.