Rise In Cigarette Litter
14 September 2007
England suffered the biggest increase in the number of cigarette ends plaguing its streets since the ban on smoking in public places was introduced - over Northern Ireland and Wales.
Out of the three bans on smoking in public places brought in this year - Wales and Northern Ireland in April, then England in July - England's streets bore the brunt of the litter problem with 43% rise in the amount of cig butts dropped on its pavements.*
That's according to the first ever research on the rise in cigarette rubbish after the ban, released today (Friday 14th September) by Keep Britain Tidy.
It also revealed a seven times increase in the amount of other smoking paraphernalia - cigarette packets, films and matches - littered on our streets since going smoke-free.
Ginette Unsworth, Senior Marketing Manager, Keep Britain Tidy said: "We always knew that the smoking ban would have a negative effect on the state of our streets. The number of dropped dog ends rising is no surprise as people are concerned about the fire hazard of using a normal litter bin.
" England being the last country in the UK to bring the ban in it had the benefit of hindsight - it knew the problems encountered by other nations. If this had been exploited further, the level of cigarette litter may not be in such a sorry state."
Unsurprisingly, worst hit areas were town and city centres: the home to premises most affected by the ban - bars, shops and offices. Of these only 2% did not have cigarette ends present on the streets.
98% of councils responding to a recent survey revealed to Keep Britain Tidy that their towns and cities have a problem with smoking related litter - with 83% of them suffering an increase since the ban.
Complaints from members of the public have also gone up - over a third of councils received more grumbles shared on discarded cigarette butts and 18% got more on litter in general.
In a bid to get England's cigarette litter problem under control Keep Britain Tidy is launching a campaign on Monday 17th September.
Joining it on the campaign trail are ten councils from across the country. Advertising will be supported with strong educational and enforcement messages - warning smokers that if they do not bin their butts, they could be fined up to £80.
Posters with a dropped cig end covered in camouflage print and the strap line 'however you disguise it, it's still litter' is one of three ads that will be appearing in bus shelters and on billboards in England. It also features Ashcan - the first portable ashtray for sale in a national supermarket (Tesco).
Click here for more information on the campaign.
Added Ginette: ?Smokers told Keep Britain Tidy a few years ago that what they wanted was a solution ? something to put a lit cigarette end in that wouldn?t be a fire hazard. There are more portable ashtrays and cigarette bins available than ever before ? it?s vital that all smokers use them to avoid the smoking litter levels rising further.?
*Tidy Northern Ireland reported a 17% increase in smoking litter after the ban was introduced in Northern Ireland. Keep Wales Tidy recorded a 7% rise since Wales brought the ban in. After the ban was introduced in Scotland, Keep Scotland Beautiful did notice an immediate rise but it then reduced as more people used cigarette bins.
FAG END FACT FILE? FAG END FACT FILE? FAG END FACT FILE?
? It costs ?200 million a year to rid the streets of dumped cigarette ends
? Smoking litter makes up 40% of the rubbish found on our streets
? The amount of fag butts plaguing our streets has increased by 43% since the smoking ban was brought in
? The amount of cigarette packets and films present has gone up by seven times
? Town and city centres ? home of the premises most affected by the ban; bars, restaurants and offices ? are blighted by the most cigarette ends?
? Only 2% of these areas are withou