Cigarette Butt Litter

RR ButtsCigarette butt litter is always one of the top 10 items being found in clean-ups, particularly in urban areas. Most people don't realise that cigarette butts are made out of plastic, so take an estimated 10 years or more to degrade into tiny plastic fibres. Check out this image by Responsible Runners Bondi who picked up a crazy 25,000 cigarette butts at Bondi Beach - a beach that actually has a non-smoking policy!

Cigarette butts are made out of what?

Cig butt memeAs part of the Source Reduction Plan workshops that we held earlier this year around Port Phillip Bay, three local projects addressing cigarette butt litter were developed. This included surveying smokers, and we were surprised that many people didn't realise cigarette butts are actually made out of plastic. To help close this knowledge gap, we've created a few resources which you can download from our website.

Cigarette butt meme

Cigarette butt video

Thanks to everyone who got involved in the projects, to Sustainability Victoria and the 7 local government partners for their support!

Ms No Butts Tackling Butt Litter

There is a common misconception that small amounts of litter don’t have a big effect the environment. This is false. Research shows that it can take more than 12 years for cigarette butt litter to break down, polluting our environment and waterways. All we ask smokers to do is please butt it, then bin it.
One of Greater Dandenong’s most recent residents, Ms NoButts (#msnobutts) also feels very strongly about this matter and thinks that there are no butts about it - Greater Dandenong is not an ashtray. Dropping cigarette butts and small amounts of litter are against the law and attract fines which exceed $6000 if the matter is referred to court.


Making cigarette butt bins more visible

Cigarette Greater DandenongArticle supplied from the Victorian Litter Action Alliance (VLAA) LitterALLY December Newsletter.

Cigarette butt litter invariably tops the list in litter audits, especially in urban areas. Even though butt bins are a common feature of pedestrian landscapes these days, the problem persists.

A case in point is Halpin Way in central Dandenong, a well-used route from Dandenong Railway Station to the CBD’s offices, civic precinct and retail hub. Landscaping along this corridor includes a number of rain gardens, which despite three butt bins in sight, were becoming ‘butt bins’ themselves.