Giant cigarette ends in the City of London
6 million cig butts a year dropped on Square Mile 01 September 2014

New campaign encourages smokers to bin their butts to help clean up London's Square Mile.

The City of London Corporation, in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy, is launching a new campaign aimed at reducing the number of cigarette butts littering the City’s streets.

‘It’s no small problem…’ is designed to illustrate to smokers that, although each cigarette butt is small, in total more than SIX MILLION BUTTS are dropped each year the City. That adds up to a big problem - and one that contributes significantly to the £3.8million bill to clean its streets every year.

To support the campaign, the City Corporation and Keep Britain Tidy have launched a video, which highlights the size of the problem by scaling up the cigarette butts, and posters that will be appearing around the City to support the campaign.

Research from Keep Britain Tidy suggests that the majority of smokers don’t even consider cigarette butts to be litter, dropping them subconsciously.

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 has issued more than 859 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 cigarette 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 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.

“We are delighted to be working with the City of London Corporation on a campaign that will, hopefully, start to tackle the problem and remind smokers that they can help keep the streets tidy for everyone by simply putting their butts in a bin – or by using the personal ashtrays that the City Corporation provides.”