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San Diego activist creates art to raise awareness about cigarette pollution on beaches

Cigarette butts art
Posted at 8:24 PM, Oct 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-22 23:24:14-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A woman is using art to raise awareness about the pollution on San Diego beaches.

A handful of cigarette buds is just a small portion of what Reyanne Mustafa sees walking along the beach every day.

"[I] figured just screaming at people was not enough and I figured what way to do it in an artistic way to make people intrigued and want to know a little more," said Mustafa.

So she got to work.

With help from friends and the community, she collected dozens of cigarette butts littered on and around San Deigo beaches to create an art piece.

"I personally really love to surf and to climb and be outdoors so it's a constant reminder to protect the places that we play," she said.

According to, cigarette butts are the most common form of plastic waste in the world.

Mustafa said she was inspired by a picture from the Instagram account — Trashy Collection — and decided to make a wave out of the butts symbolizing the harm being done to our ocean.

"Not only is tobacco harming for us and our own bodies but it really hurts the marine life and goes into the water and contaminates all of that."

This is not the first upcycled artwork designed by the environmental activist.

Mustafa collected produce stickers for a year to create a global art piece. She's already started gathering straws for her next project with each project carrying a simple yet important message to protect our planet.

"See small ways that you can reduce your waste in your everyday life and I promise you will feel so empowered when you do so."

The art piece took Mustafa ten months to complete.