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On Monday, a report by NBC News named cigarette butts as the single greatest source of ocean pollution — surpassing plastic straws. The filters in cigarettes are made of tiny plastic particles that take decades or more to decompose. And they serve no use. According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, cigarette filters were created in the 1950s by the tobacco industry in an effort to make smoking a “healthier” alternative to unfiltered cigarettes.