Instead of enjoying the clear, blue water or shells along the sand, Barry Fox usually notices one main feature when visiting the beach: cigarette butts.
Although this may be an odd thing in which to take note, cigarette butt litter is more prevalent on beaches than some may think. This type of waste is the first item on the top 10 list of litter types found on beaches, according to the data release from the Ocean Conservancy, and there were about 2 million cigarette butts collected during the 2011 International Coastal Cleanup Day in 2011.
Tired of seeing this eyesore and wanting to make the environment a safer place for animals and humans, Rescue resident and local inventor Barry Fox set out to make a change — and thus, the Fox Box was created.
The Fox Box is a cigarette pack holder with a built-in ashtray. There is a side compartment on the hard, plastic case where users can discard their cigarette butts when they are on the go. This section opens up at the end so users can empty out their waste when they reach a trash can.
Fox created this product to help out the environment and to give people an alternative place to get rid of their cigarette butts, as opposed to on the beach or other environmental places.
“I got tired of looking at all the butts on the ground,” Fox said. “So I’m doing something to clean up the butts.”
The Fox Box comes in two different sizes — one for regular-sized cigarettes and the other for 100s. Also, there are eight different colors and all of the cases are water, fire and crush resistant.
Fox Boxes are currently sold in smoke shops and liquor stores in Reno, Mexico, Hawaii, New York, Los Angeles, Sacramento and several other U.S. and international cities. Although these cases are already sold in some stores, Fox hopes to expand the product into bigger stores across the country and is currently talking to other companies about this expansion.
Fox also said that this case is popular because it masks the tobacco smell of cigarettes. Women don’t need to worry about other items in their purse smelling like smoke because the case prevents the smell from spreading.
The display case set up in stores for the Fox Boxes is decorated with different endangered species to represent the harm that cigarette butt litter causes to these animals. The display also says “Save the Planet — No Butts About It.”
Some may say that this product just encourages people to smoke, but Fox said that this is not his goal at all — he simply wants to clean up litter and help out the environment.
“There is a big need for this,” he said. “There are more butts than all litter combined and it’s a really bad problem.”
To learn more about the Fox Box, please visit foxboxinc.com.