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#BinTheButt is a new campaign developed by Keep Britain Tidy for local authorities, to help stamp out the smoking related litter issue.

Campaign launch in Manchester

Dropped cigarette butts are the most common form of littering, found on 79% of the 7,200 sites surveyed as part of our recent Local Environment Quality Survey of England 2017/18.

Recent research revealed:

  • 52% of smokers who smoke everyday thought putting a cigarette down the drain was acceptable.
  • 39% of smokers, equivalent to 3.6million 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.

The #BinTheButt campaign aims to raise awareness amongst smokers and highlight the link between the cigarette butt they drop on the street or down the drain and the impact it has on the marine environment.

What begins in our streets can end in the sea

Research conducted after the campaign launched in Manchester revealed some fantastic results;

  • Almost nine in 10 smokers each felt that the campaign was aimed at people like them (88%) and that the campaign has made them more aware of the negative impacts of dropping cigarette butts in the street (87%)
  • Eight in 10 felt it made them more concerned about the effects of dropping or leaving cigarette butts on the ground, now they knew that they may end up in the sea, releasing toxins that may kill or harm marine life (80%)
  • Around two-thirds each felt the campaign made them think the council was doing something to tackle the problem of cigarette litter (66%) and that it made them think something is being done to improve the cleanliness of the area (63%). 83% of those who didn’t already bin their butt said the campaign was likely to encourage them to use a bin. 

Packaged campaign solutions are now available to local authorities, with discounts available to Network members. Please download an order form to the right or send us an enquiry now.

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Our Centre for Social Innovation carried out research into cigarette litter, attitudes and behaviours in 2018. Cigarette litter is the most common form of litter found on our streets, parks and beaches and in town and city centres it can be found on 99% of sites surveyed. It is also a challenging form of litter to tackle in that it is unique – it is on fire and smelly when the smoker has finished with, meaning smokers want to dispose of the cigarette in a
convenient way.

Previous research carried out by our Centre for Social Innovation shows that many smokers do not consider cigarette butts as litter and our latest research shows that many smokers are disposing of butts in a way they perceive to be acceptable – putting butts down drains and grids. They are not aware that cigarettes placed down drains can end up in the sea.

Jaded by anti-smoking campaigns which focus on harm to humans, smokers know cigarettes contain toxic chemicals but many of those we spoke to were not aware that cigarettes contain micro-plastics. This message resonated strongly across the focus groups and would compel them to think twice about flicking cigarettes down the drain.



There are two options: 'Flicking Blue Murder' or 'What Beings on our Streets'.

An image of the two #BinTheButt Keep Britain Tidy cigarette litter campaign

Campaign package


Standard Package

As standard you will receive a range of digital and hard copy assets in one of the designs; choose one design from: ‘Flicking Blue Murder’ or ‘What Begins on our Streets’.

The package includes:

  • Web banner for social media purposes (Twitter, Facebook, Istagram etc)
  • Digital email banner
  • 50 x A4 posters
  • 20 x A3 correx signs
  • 6 sheet digital artwork for bus shelters
  • 48 sheet digital artwork for billboards ( Full artwork specifaction required from outdoor advertiser provider)
  • Campaign brief which includes:
    • Brief for stakeholders
    • Communications guide and draft PR
    • Sample tweets and Facebook posts
  • 12 months ‘Essential’ level network membership

If you wish to up-weight your campaign, you can purchase additional digital and hard copy assets, please refer to page five of the order form.



Standard package price:  £550 + VAT (non-member price is £1,295 + VAT*)

*Essential level network membership is included in the standard package, however if you want even more benefits you can upgrade your membership to Expert or Exemplar.
Standard package including Expert membership: £1,995 +VAT
Standard package including Exemplar membership: £4,050 + VAT

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