Cigarette Litter Prevention Program
The national Cigarette Litter Prevention Program started 11 years ago. In 2013, more than 100 communities launched some kind of cigarette litter control program or promotional effort to make people aware of the challenges and dangers of cigarette litter on our landscape and in our waterways. There were 13 grant-supported implementation programs in 2013 across the country. Our local KBB was one of them.
KBB received funding that covered the cost of 39 cigarette receptacles to be placed on the beach walkover street location poles throughout Cocoa Beach. Cocoa Beach was chosen for the first installation of the receptacles as it is the busiest of the public beaches of Brevard County.
KBB partnered with East Florida State College Youth Build students and the City of Cocoa Beach Public Works department supervisor, Ben Cook, to have all 39 receptacles installed in one morning. Along with the installation of the receptacles, KBB received funding for posters to be designed and printed to be used throughout the beachside community to educate the visitors to the beach to use the receptacles.
“The posters will be used in the beachside hotels, condos, bars and restaurants to remind visitors not to use the beaches of our community as an ashtray.”
According to research, there is still a battle to be fought, because there seems to be ‘disconnect’ with people about throwing down a cigarette butt….many still don’t even consider it litter. The research also found that cigarette butt litter occurs most often at transition points—areas where a person must stop smoking before proceeding into another area—like at bus stops, entrances to stores and public buildings, and the sidewalk areas outside of bars and restaurants. Of particular concern in Brevard is litter at access points to and from our beaches.
Tobacco products, consisting mainly of cigarette butts, are the most littered item in America, representing nearly 38 percent of all items littered, according to “Litter in America,” KAB’s landmark 2009 study of litter and littering behavior.
Keep America Beautiful says, in the last eight years, America has made progress in reducing cigarette litter on its roadways, streets, in its parks and on its beaches.
In California, a local affiliate launched the I Love a Clean San Diego campaign near the harbor on San Diego Bay.
“We partnered with the Surfrider Foundation and local businesses to establish ash can funding and maintenance agreements, as well as support for electronic billboard advertisements,” said Natalie Roberts, ILACSD’s director of community events. “The scrolling ads included promotional messages to encourage proper disposal of cigarette butts and cigar tips.” One busy intersection showed a reduction of over 70 percent.
Read more at Keep America Beautiful.
According to public works officials, Virginia Beach exceeded its budget to clean storm drains by more than $3 million – and cigarette butts were a significant component in these costs.
Dan Baxter, chairman of Virginia Beach Clean Community Coalition.