Stockport Council encourages smokers to Bin the Butt

Stockport Council is working with Keep Britain Tidy on their latest recycling campaign focused on the most common form of littering, dropped cigarette butts.

Bin the Butt aims to highlight the huge impact that dropping a cigarette butt down the drain has on the marine environment.

Encouraging smokers to bin their butt is vital now more than ever as recent research has revealed:
• 79% of the 7,200 sites surveyed found dropped cigarette butts as the most common form of littering (from Keep Britain Tidy’s Local Environment Quality Survey)
• 52% of smokers who smoke thought putting a cigarette down the drain was acceptable
• 39% of smokers, equivalent to 3.6 million in the UK, admitted to throwing a cigarette butt down a drain within the past month
• 11% of smokers do not consider cigarette butts to be litter

As well as plastic, cigarette filters are comprised of thousands of chemical ingredients, including arsenic, lead and nicotine, all of which can leak into marine environments. According to studies, just one cigarette butt per litre of water is highly toxic to fish. To combat this, the Council are aiming to stamp out the smoking-related litter that is detrimental to our marine life.

The Council’s Neighbourhood Service Team are also contacting local businesses and community groups to encourage them to play their part in helping to educate members of the public about the effects of cigarette butts. Local pubs and restaurants are now backing the campaign and doing what they can to lessen the damage of cigarette litter in the local area. There will also be more cigarette disposal bins and purpose-built pouches for the safe disposal of cigarette butts which will be distributed around hot spots in Stockport where cigarette littering is a known issue.

Cllr Sheila Bailey, Stockport Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “We are pleased to support Keep Britain Tidy again with their new campaign Bin the Butt. Seeing cigarette butts on the street is far too common and has a huge impact on the area. That’s why encouraging residents and businesses to help us by making sure they are mindful of littering when smoking and disposing of cigarette butts correctly.

“It’s great to hear businesses are already signed up in and around Stockport too, and together with our Neighbourhood Team, we will continue working with them to help combat problem areas in the borough. By working to reduce our levels of cigarette litter in Stockport, we can help to make a huge difference to reduce the damage to marine life.”

Bin the Butt is one of the many efforts of the Council’s ‘We Love Stockport – Be Proud of Where You Live’ environmental campaign, which is aimed at addressing issues such as littering, fly-tipping and keeping our parks and streets clean. For more information, visit our environmental page.