A TOWN in Cork has launched a new campaign to make its streets free from cigarette butts.
The Carrigaline Tidy Towns committee picked up more than 6,000 cigarette butts on the main street in the town over a four week period.
The committee has responded by launching the ‘Smoke It, Stub It, Bin It’ campaign, encouraging people to dispose of their cigarettes responsibly.
The Tidy Towns committee said that Carrigaline has been praised for the beauty and vibrancy of its streets and surrounding areas with new flower beds, planters, a relaxing biodiversity plaza, bountiful trees and general streetscape enhancements.
However, despite the efforts of the dedicated group and volunteers, they added that one thing that is constantly blighting the streets: Cigarette butts.
Chairman of the Tidy Towns Committee, Liam O’Connor, said that the cigarette butts were tirelessly collected over a consecutive four week period between July and August from the Main Street.
“The purpose of this initiative was to measure the extent to which the action of discarding a cigarette butt on the street was occurring and to highlight the fact that, despite a reduction in general waste being discarded, a culture still exists where throwing your cigarette butt on the street is considered an acceptable norm,” he added.
“Cigarette butt filters contain synthetic fibres and hundreds of chemicals used to treat tobacco.
“Many of these filters inevitably end up being washed into our local drain system, and often disintegrates into microplastics easily consumed by wildlife,” explained Mr O’Connor.
He added that the Tidy Towns Team aim to highlight their concerns and initiate an awareness poster campaign with the aim of addressing this issue.
“We are hoping that over the next number of weeks this campaign will raise the necessary awareness and that people will be more aware of their actions and hope that, this time next year a similar investigation could take place and hopefully witness a significant reduction in the amount of cigarette butt litter,” said Mr O’Connor.
“Simply put, cigarette butts are litter and throwing a cigarette butt on the street is a littering offence, subject to a €150 fine.
“It’s time to get the butts out of Carrigaline,” he added.
“Smoke it, stub it, bin it.”