[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=El40x1dQM3w&w=472]The City of London Corporation, which governs the Square Mile, is clamping down on cigarette butts thrown on the street.
The “It’s no small problem” campaign in partnership with environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, aims to reduce the annual six million cigarette butts that litter the City’s streets.
The City Corporation spends £3.8m to clean its streets every year and research from Keep Britain Tidy suggests that the majority of smokers don’t even consider cigarette butts to be litter, dropping them subconsciously.
Phil Barton, Keep Britain Tidy – “Smoking-related litter is found on almost every street in our towns and cities and is part of the litter problem that costs the best part of £1bn to clean up every year in England”
The new campaign reinforces to smokers that cigarette butts are litter and dropping them is, in fact, against the law. Since 2013 the City of London Corporation prosecuted 20 people and issued more than 860 fixed penalty notices to people who had dropped their butts on the floor.
Wendy Mead, Chairman of the City Corporation’s Environmental Services Committee, said: “with 400,000 people coming in and out of the Square Mile every day, we need to make sure smokers understand that dropping cigarettes butts is not only lazy and unpleasant – it is a criminal offence. Smokers can help the City better spend its resources on green spaces, employment skills and schools by disposing of their butts responsibly.”
Phil Barton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: “Smoking-related litter is found on almost every street in our towns and cities and is part of the litter problem that costs the best part of £1billion to clean up every year in England. Although each individual butt is small, when you consider how many are dropped each year those butts add up to a big issue and impact on how clean our streets look.”
There are 821 cigarettes “butt bins” (mounted ashtrays) at 353 locations in the Square Mile and the City Corporation has distributed 45,000 portable ashtrays from various locations around the Square Mile.