Mountain of cigarette butts dumped on high street to encourage smokers to stop dropping stubs | UK News


Nearly a quarter of a million cigarette butts have been dumped on a high street in London to encourage people to stop dropping their stubs.

The mound was placed on a street in Kingston upon Thames by Keep Britain Tidy, which said 2.7 million cigarette butts are dropped on high streets on a daily basis.

The environmental charity said that equated to around 225,000 butts being dropped between the hours of 8am and 8pm every day – adding that the figure for butts dropped across the whole of the country is likely to be much higher.

Pic: Mikael Buck/Keep Britain Tidy

The sculpture was made of real cigarette butts collected from UK high streets.

Keep Britain Tidy said cigarettes make up 66% of all items littered in England and an estimated seven out of eight cigarettes smoked outside end up being littered rather than disposed of properly.

A poll commissioned by the charity found smokers appear to have a blind spot for seeing cigarettes as litter.

The poll found they were three times less likely to see cigarette ends as problem litter compared with non-smokers, with 23% of smokers saying they did not count as rubbish compared with 7% of non-smokers.

It is estimated 12 billion cigarette butts are dropped around the world every day.

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Pic: Mikael Buck/Keep Britain Tidy
Pic: Mikael Buck/Keep Britain Tidy

Pic: Mikael Buck/Keep Britain Tidy
Pic: Mikael Buck/Keep Britain Tidy

Keep Britain Tidy’s Allison Ogden-Newton said: “Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the UK and the consequences to our environment, our wellbeing, and our taxpayer are far more significant than many realise.

“A quarter of a million butts are dropped every hour on UK high streets alone – these areas are cleaned regularly, but the hour-by-hour deluge of butts makes the task of cleaning them up like painting the Forth Bridge – once you’ve finished, you just have to start again.

“We need attitudes to change towards cigarette litter so that it is no longer viewed as acceptable, but rather as the single-use plastic that it is.

“We are asking smokers to please understand that they are contributing to a significant environmental issue in the UK and to take responsibility for disposing of their rubbish.”

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