Cigarette butts are not small, insignificant pieces of litter. They are the single most littered item across England.
Not only do cigarette butts degrade an area, they contaminate water supplies and pose a serious fire threat.
- The key to preventing smoking related litter is education, campaigning and an effective enforcement strategy.
- Campaign messages should not make smokers feel guiltier than they already do about smoking. They should raise awareness about the inappropriateness of dropping smoking related litter. The message should not be patronising, insulting or antagonistic to stand a good chance of being heard amongst all the other campaigns directed at smokers.
- Campaigning must be backed up by a suitable enforcement strategy, which research shows has the support of both the general public and smokers as a means to prevent littering. However, more local authorities must take up the powers available to them.
- Before fining smokers it is necessary to communicate to them that this will be taking place and offer them an acceptable alternative to their littering behaviour such as a portable ashtray.
- Keep Britain Tidy would like to see a requirement on businesses and workplaces to provide suitable receptacles for the disposal of smoking related litter and the promotion of anti-littering messages to all staff, customers and/or patrons.