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Butt Bin Litter Campaign

Cigarette butt litter is a serious environmental problem. Littered butts are messy, pose fire hazards and serious environmental concern.

Cigarette butts account for 56 percent of all litter items in Victoria.

  • Butts have consistently made the top 10 list of items picked up in the Clean Up Australia Day rubbish report since the first Clean Up Australia Day in 1990.
  • Around 7.2 billion cigarette butts are littered in Australia each year. If laid end-to-end the line of butts would circle the earth 3.6 times.
  • There is conflicting information available on the time cigarette butts take to degrade, ranging from estimates of two months to 12 years.
  • Unlike paper, cigarette butts undergo chemical changes as they decompose. Within one hour of being in contact with water, a cigarette butt will start to leach toxic chemicals into the environment.
  • Six out of 10 smokers in outdoor settings litter their butts.

Cigarette butt litter in the Moira Shire is unsightly, with visible accumulation of cigarette butts in gutters, gardens and on pavements.

What We are Doing About It?

 

Moira Shire Council has received a grant through Sustainability Victoria for a Cigarette Butt Litter Campaign. The campaign was launched in December 2007 and included the installation of ‘Butt Bins’ in Cobram, Numurkah, Nathalia and Yarrawonga. The campaign has been designed to work closely with local businesses and the community to increase awareness and present responsible alternative disposal options for cigarette butts in an environmentally friendly manner.

As a preliminary to the campaign, Council identified butt litter ‘hotspots’ and has been monitoring them to determine the best placement for butt bins.

You can report to EPA someone throwing litter from a car (including cigarette butts) by calling the EPA Litter Report Line on 1800 352 555 (24 hours).

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