Making cigarette butt bins more visible

Article 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.

This prompted the City of Greater Dandenong to take advantage of costumes provided by Sustainability Victoria (see photo) to kick off its #MSNOBUTTS campaign, a concerted publicity effort to raise awareness of the existence of butt bins, where they are, and that smokers should use them.

The local press came on board quickly and have already run feature articles featuring #MSNOBUTTS as she engages with the local public. Proof, if you need it, that the media wants a quirky angle to promote your cause.

The campaign will continue for up to a year, using the rain gardens in Halpin Way and one other hotspot in Dandenong’s CBD as audit sites for monitoring cigarette butt levels and evaluating the campaign’s progress. We can also expect a case study later in 2016.

Local councils might consider getting on board by borrowing one of the campaign costumes. It would be a great result if others in Victoria helped promote responsible cigarette butt disposal by posting a photo via the #MSNOBUTTS hashtag if she’s spotted in the neighbourhood.

Get in touch with the Litter Champion if interested in borrowing a costume, and for more information on Greater Dandenong’s campaign, contact Amy McLoughlin, Litter Prevention Officer.

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