National cigarette butt anti-littering campaign
The first national 'Butt Free City - Please Butt It, Then Bin It' campaign is asking smokers to help reduce the seven billion littered butts that hit Australian footpaths, gutters and waterways every year.
The campaign is taking place in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Darwin, Canberra and Hobart, with Sydney running its own parallel campaign under the Clean Harbour Partners Program, which has been in place since 2002.
The Butt Free City campaign is being run in partnership with the city councils and the independent Butt Littering Trust.
According to Ian Coles, Chair of the Butt Littering Trust, cigarette butts are consistently listed at the top of Clean Up Australia's litter hierarchy, closely followed by plastic chip and confectionary bags and plastic bottle caps and lids.
The littered butts and other rubbish cause significant degradation when they enter waterways directly or through drains.
"We wouldn't dream of throwing rubbish into our own swimming pool or goldfish pond and yet millions of butts are unleashed into our waterways and habitats every day," Mr Coles said.
"Research shows that many people are not conscious that habitually flicking a butt is actually littering."
The Butt Free City campaign will employ teams of people to talk to smokers and hand out personal ashtrays, lollies and information cards containing sobering facts about littering.
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