‘Stub It, Bin It’ - Council launches cigarette litter campaign
‘Stub It, Bin It!’…or pick up an £80 fine - that is the simple message of The Highland Council’s latest litter campaign aimed at smokers who carelessly dispose of their cigarette waste.
Offenders can be issued an £80 Fixed Penalty Notice for dropping cigarette ends - or other smoking litter.
Smoking related litter - cigarette butts, matches and packaging - is the most common type of litter on the streets of Scotland. According to Keep Scotland Beautiful, 122 tons of cigarette butts and cigarette related litter is dropped every day in the UK.
Councillor Graham MacKenzie, Chair of the Council’s Community Services Committee said: “Smoking litter is a big headache for the Council - especially cigarette ends; they are difficult to clean up, can easily become trapped between paving stones and are washed into drains and can cause blockages and flooding. As well as being unsightly they also leak toxins that contaminate water and harm marine life and the environment.”
He added: “Some smokers think butts will biodegrade quickly; however the filters contain plastic and can take 10 years or more to decay.”
Smokers are being advised that they should always stub out cigarette butts carefully before binning them along with any other smoking related litter – including matches. Cigarette ends that are not stubbed out can continue to smoulder which is unpleasant for non-smokers and can cause litter bin fires.
Smokers are also being encouraged to carry a portable ashtray pouch in their pocket or handbag at all times to stub out and dispose of the contents later – either when they get home or find a litter bin. This is particularly important out of town where there may be no litter bins about. As well as being unsightly discarded cigarette ends are a frequent cause of fires in the countryside.
Portable ashtray pouches are available on-line from a variety of suppliers as well as in some shops and supermarkets. During last week’s Black Isle and Skye Agricultural Shows, The Highland Council Waste Awareness Team handed out free pouches to smokers to promote the campaign.
Cigarette and other litter issues can be reported to The Highland Council by calling 01349 886603 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org