Cigarette Butt Litter

RR ButtsCigarette butt litter is always one of the top 10 items being found in clean-ups, particularly in urban areas. Most people don't realise that cigarette butts are made out of plastic, so take an estimated 10 years or more to degrade into tiny plastic fibres. Check out this image by Responsible Runners Bondi who picked up a crazy 25,000 cigarette butts at Bondi Beach - a beach that actually has a non-smoking policy!

#msnobutts campaign outfits

suit pic 330x225The Victorian Litter Innovation Fund (the Fund) provides support for the Victorian community, including government, business, not-for-profit organisations, social enterprises and schools, to fund innovative approaches that prevent and reduce the impact of litter and illegal dumping.

As part of this funding the City of Dandengong introduced the #msnobutts brings fresh attitude to the cigarette butt litter campaign.

To read the full case study please visit this link.

Butt it Bin it - Footpath decals

Footpath decalsThe campaign “Butt it Bin it” conducted by Victoria's Bayside City Council with the Source Reduction funding encourages Black Rock Village residents and visitors to dispose their cigarette butts in bins to prevent that the butts end up in the waterways.

“Butt it Bin it” decals were recently placed along the footpath and at litter hotspots in order to remind smokers to adequately dispose their cigarette butts into the nearest bin. The decals were strategically placed in four places around the Black Rock Village on three different streets and point to the nearest bins. The stickers feature a snapper, photographed by P McDonald at a site near Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary, which was intentionally chosen to warn smokers that if cigarette butts aren’t adequately disposed in the bins, they can eventually be washed away and end up in the sea.

The litter hotspots were previously identified through methodical surveys by the Friends of Bayside Roads and the project was developed in collaboration with local groups. Alan Thomas and Derek Jones, in the photo, are members of the Friends of the Roads organization; they’ve collected 7 tonnes of litter from Bayside Roads this year so far! Well done guys!


Mapping cigarette butt litter

Jan map PDComplaints about cigarette butts in the streets and on beaches in Port Douglas led Tangaroa Blue and the Douglas Shire Council to host a litter source reduction plan workshop in December 2017. 

A plan was mapped out, with the first step to understand exactly where the cigarette butt litter hotspots were.

Once a month for three months Tangaroa Blue team members, Douglas Shire Council representatives and local volunteers assisted in a baseline data collection action.

Before the council street sweepers cleaned Macrossan Street, which is the main street in Port Douglas, a survey was conducted logging in Tangaroa Blue's CyberTracker data logger all cigarette butts found along the footpath, gutter and garden beds. Infrastructure was also logged to show the relationship between seats, bins, bus stops, drains, tables, public phones, toilets and pedestrian crossings with the cigarette butt litter.

You can check out the map from January's audit here


Please Bin Your Butts!

LIF Butt BinThe Campbells Cove foreshore carpark is a litter hotpot within the Wyndham local government area, cigarette butts being the most common form of litter found. This litter item was the target of the Wyndham SRP workshop held in 2017. The aim was to reduce litter through public awareness via signage infrastructure.

Cigarette butt surveys were conducted to identify the hotpots on site, and Council installed signage that read “Too lovely to litter, Keep Wyndham Clean”. Follow up surveys, showed that rates of butt litter did not decrease, so more targeted signage was introduced that read “Please Bin Your Butts, Keep Wyndham Clean”. Follow up surveys are yet to determine the full effects of the new signs, but community members are now skilled in butt auditing and monitoring.

The SRP process created a strong network between community members and Wyndham City Council for future projects and initiatives.

Cigarette butts in Bayside

Bayside cigaretteCigarette butt litter is the most common form of litter in the Bayside City Council particularly in shopping strips, and close to cafes and bars. The project objective was to reduce cigarette butt litter within the Black Rock cafe/bar and restaurant precinct. 

The first step of this SRP was to run cigarette butt surveys along Bluff and Balcombe Roads to identify cigarette butt hotspots. One survey was conducted prior to the new smoking bans taking effect on 1 August 2017, and one several weeks following the ban. This helped identify butt litter hotspots and was used to assess if the new smoking laws had the desired effect.

The surveys found no significant difference in the total number of cigarette butts littered before and after the introduced laws. People were smoking in the same locations and were disposing of their butts in the same manner.

Following the survey, Bayside City Council along with SRP participants decided it was necessary to create signage to direct smokers to existing butt bins. Signs are being designed and will be stuck on the ground in current butt hotspot locations.

Following the signage installation, a third butt survey will assess if signs are having the desired effect on disposal behaviour.

This project was funded through Sustainability Victoria's Litter Innovation Fund.

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