• Outdoors Outdoors

Driver shares image of object that destroyed car's tire: 'How did that even get in there?'

"Just like [how] people litter their beer bottles."

"Just like [how] people litter their beer bottles."

Photo Credit: iStock

A driver with a flat tire was frustrated to check the source of the damage and find that it was something completely avoidable — a discarded vape cartridge.

They posted a photo on Reddit of the damage, showing how the vape had pierced through the thick rubber walls of the tire.

"How did that even get in there?" one person asked, astounded.

Photo Credit: Reddit

Others lamented the ever-present problem of litter. "Just like [how] people litter their beer bottles," one person observed

Specifically, discarded vapes and cartridges have become so widespread that the trend is getting noticed by trash pickers. Litter degrades neighborhood feeling and property values — not to mention it can damage vehicles like this one.

But this litter isn't just unsightly — it's dangerous in several ways. Much of the discarded rubbish worldwide is made of made of plastic — 20 million metric tons each year, per the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. 

That plastic contains dangerous chemicals that leach into the environment over time. These threats are pervasive in both urban and rural environments, and plastic pollution has been linked to the spread of diseases such as cholera and the Norwalk virus around the world, per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

Garbage and litter also act as breeding grounds for disease-carrying pests, like mosquitoes, who are responsible for nearly 400 million disease cases annually, per the World Mosquito Program. And it poses a particular risk to aquatic animals, who often confuse trash for food or habitats and then starve or choke to death.

And — particularly when it comes to vapes — destroying a tire is more than an inconvenience for the driver. There are very few ways — if any — to safely recycle tires. Instead, they end up accumulating everywhere from the ocean floor to garden beds, where they seep their 400 chemicals and compounds into water and soil.

Fortunately, it's much easier to avoid blowing a tire when you use public transit, like the subway or the train — or even more so if you walk.

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