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Cigarette Receptacles And Butt Cans Are Part Of The
Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Program.

Guide to Cigarette Litter Prevention Using Cigarette Receptacles

Cigarette litter is a serious challenge for communities across the U.S. Individuals who would never litter beverage cans or paper packaging typically do not consider tossing cigarette butts on the ground littering.

Dropping partially-smoked cigarettes, cigarette butts, matches, lighters, and packaging to the ground, however, is littering. Lack of awareness, lack of cigarette receptacles, and the increase of smoking outdoors all contribute to the growing amount of cigarette litter. Cigarette receptacles, butt cans and smoking urns are a necessary part to any cigarette litter prevention program.

Keep America Beautiful, the nation's largest nonprofit community improvement organization, has developed the Guide to Cigarette Litter Prevention, to combat this problem. In the Guide, Keep America Beautiful shares knowledge, solutions and tools that government, businesses or individuals can put to use to reduce cigarette litter in their communities.

Cigarette Receptacles come in all shapes, different materials and sizes. Metal Butt Cans have been around for quite some time. There are stylish cigarette receptacle now available to match any type of decor or theme. Smoking urns have been a traditional look in many business and commercial environments.

Cigarette litter is an emerging litter problem in America. More Smoking Urns, Cigarette Butt Cans and Cigarette Receptacles Are Needed.

Research shows that individuals who would never consider littering an aluminum can, a piece of paper or other items may be littering cigarette butts and do not consider using cigarette receptacles when available. They may be surprised to be called litterers. These items become litter when not disposed of properly. Cigarette litter is an emerging litter problem in communities around the country. Lack of awareness, lack of cigarette receptacles, and the increase of outdoor smoking (without smoking urns) add to the visible impact of cigarette litter

To see a complete listing of Cigarette receptacles, smoking urns, butt cans, smoke cans and other cigarette butt receptacles click here now.

Cigarette litter is an environmental problem for any community. When a cigarette receptacle is not used the cigarette filter is cellulose acetate, a man-made fiber spun to look like cotton thread. These fibers break down very slowly, sometimes taking years. Cellulose acetate may degrade in time, but it is not biodegradable. One research report states that 18 percent of all litter dropped to the ground (when not using a cigarette receptacle or cigarette butt can) is washed into streams, rivers, lakes and the ocean by stormwater runoff.

Cigarette butts are little and lightweight they are easily carried with this runoff into our waterways (when butt cans are not used). As the wind and rain carry it along, it catches in flower gardens, grass and open spaces. Thats when children, our pets, and wildlife find it. The fibers in a cigarette filter and the remaining tobacco contain several residual alkaloids, including nicotine, posing a health problem for wildlife when ingested. Did you know that birds may use it for nesting and even think it's food? This is why using cigarette receptacles, smoking urns, butt cans, smoke cans and other cigarette butt receptacles is very important.

2003 Land & Underwater U.S. Cleanups - TOP TEN ITEMS

DEBRIS ITEMS

TOTAL NUMBER

PERCENT OF TOTAL

1. Cigarette Butts, Cigarette Filters

1,426,613

34.45%

2. Food Wrappers, Containers

418,795

10.11%

3. Caps, Lids

356,513

8.60%

4. Beverage Bottles - Plastic, 2L or less

227,220

5.49%

5. Beverage Bottles - Glass

211,359

5.10%

6. Beverage Cans

207,225

5.00%

7. Cups, Plates, Forks, Knives, Spoons

205,301

4.95%

8. Straws, Stirrers

180,091

4.34%

9. Bags

170,053

4.10%

10. Cigar Tips

57,792

1.55%

TOP 10 TOTALS

3,475,248

34.45%

Cigarette litter represents over 20 percent of the litter collected in many community cleanup initiatives.

The Ocean Conservancy's annual International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) addresses the most littered items by publishing a Top 10 List. Cigarette litter was at the top of the list after the 2003 cleanup, outstripping the next item on the list by three to one. This is why using cigarette receptacles can improve these statistics. The data shown here comes from the ICC 2003 report.

Other than aesthetic and environmental challenges posed by cigarette litter in our communities, cleaning up cigarette litter is an increasing challenge and using cigarette receptacles and butt cans can help. The size of cigarette litter makes cigarette litter cleanups very difficult to quantify as part of the actual cost of regular maintenance.

The cost of litter removal and, more specifically, cigarette litter removal in communities, parks and public spaces, and local roadways, in each state is not easily calculated. Most communities report the cost of maintenance as a single number and the cost of litter removal is not identified.

In many cases, individual business owners assume responsibility for cigarette litter cleanup (by using receptacles, smoking urns, butt cans, smoke cans and other cigarette butt receptacles) adjacent to entrances and on their business property. Keep America Beautiful works with community volunteers to clean up litter and illegal dumping, and to make sustainable improvements neighborhood by neighborhood. Research shows that smokers will litter cigarette butts, lighters, matches and packaging material if an cigarette receptacle is not readily available. Keep America Beautiful identified problems with combination ash/trash butt receptacles. Ash/trash cigarette receptacles may be easily cross-contaminated with paper and other trash. This discourages a smoker from using the receptacle for their cigarette. Trash or ash/trash receptacles are used to snub-out burning cigarettes and then the cigarettes become litter when they're dropped around the base of a trash receptacle.

Research also shows that cigarette litter occurs at Transition Points. Transition Points are those places where a person must discontinue smoking before proceding, this is where cigarette receptacles, smoking urns, butt cans, smoke cans and other cigarette butt receptacles are much needed. A bus stop, a store entrance, building loading docks, walkways leading to government buildings and similar places are the Transition Points in a neighborhood for cigarette receptacles.

To see a complete listing of Cigarette receptacles, smoking urns, butt cans, smoke cans and other cigarette butt receptacles click here now.

Keep America Beautiful's Cigarette Litter Prevention Program

Research for the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program started in 2002 with a specific goal: to effectively and noticeably reduce cigarette litter by using cigarette receptacles, smoking urns, butt cans, smoke cans and other cigarette butt receptacles. This program's development is facilitated through new partnerships with municipalities, business and building owners, and civic leaders in conjunction with the more than 540 community-based Keep America Beautiful Network of Affiliates around the country. Generous multi-year support from Philip Morris USA made the research and development of the Guide to Cigarette Litter Prevention possible.

Being aware that those who litter cigarette butts and do not use butt cans or proper disposal, in many cases, do not litter other items, Keep America Beautiful faces the challenge of developing a program that changes individual cigarette littering behavior. The Keep America Beautiful Network of Affiliates has been increasingly challenged by this problem and has found traditional litter reduction efforts may not be the answer.

The Cigarette Litter Prevention Program is being developed with three levels of information: reviewing related research reports and published articles, collecting best practices from organizations around the globe and from our Network of Affiliates, and testing various program components that may be included in the final program. Because the program will be attempting to change individual behavior and use more cigarette receptacles, it is important to identify the program components that will build awareness and a sense of responsibility in smokers and in the communities where they live and work.

The Cigarette Litter Prevention Program is scheduled for release in late 2004 at Keep America Beautiful's Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. It is scheduled to be available on this Web site in early 2005.

What can you do now?

Are you a smoker? - Please use cigarette receptacles, smoking urns, butt cans, smoke cans and other cigarette butt receptacles, pocket ashtrays and ash receptacles when you are outside. Before you begin to smoke outside, look for the cigarette receptacles you'll use when you finish smoking. Do NOT throw butts in stormdrains. While you may think it keeps them from causing a fire, there is a problem if cigarette litter enters our waterways! Always carry a pocket ashtray when you are away from traditional ashtrays and outdoor ash receptacles. If you use your car's ashtray for coins and keys, please use a portable ashtray that fits in your cars cup holder and do NOT throw butts out car windows. This creates litter on the streets; recent wildfires in our country have been directly attributed to littered cigarette butts.

To see a complete listing of Cigarette receptacles, smoking urns, butt cans, smoke cans and other cigarette butt receptacles click here now.

Do you own or manage a business with a no smoking policy? - Please provide employees and visitors with cigarette receptacles, smoking urns, butt cans, smoke cans and other cigarette butt receptacles at all entry points to your business. These Transition Points are the places smokers need to discard their cigarettes before entering your business. Once installed, these cigarette receptacles need to be monitored and maintained regularly. Smokers will become accustomed to using these receptacles and you may need to add more to control the cigarette litter.

Are you a city manager/mayor, director of public works or a building manager for a city-owned or city-managed facility? - Please consider increasing the number of receptacles, smoking urns, butt cans, smoke cans and other cigarette butt receptacles around the community. Look at the Transition Points for residents who smoke like bus stops, train stations, parking lots, and business or municipal buildings. These Transition Points need cigarette receptacles and butt cans to encourage adults who smoke to properly dispose of their cigarette litter. For citywide litter free events, we strongly encourage the distribution of pocket ashtrays along with an increased number of cigarette receptacles, smoking urns, butt cans, smoke cans and other cigarette butt receptacles that are strategically placed at many locations at the event site.

Are you affiliated with a Business Improvement District, a Chamber of Commerce or a Downtown Development Group? - Identify the Transition Points in your service area and assemble a Cigarette Litter Prevention Team. Using the Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Program being launching in early 2005, your team will effectively address the problem.

Are you a resident who is interested in addressing this problem? Identify other stakeholders who care about your neighborhood and your community. These individuals should represent businesses, local government and neighborhood organizations. They will become members of your Cigarette Litter Prevention Team. It will be a valuable program your team can use to improve your community.

Remember this:
A Little More ThoughtLess Littered Butts! 2006 Keep America Beautiful

To see a complete listing of Cigarette receptacles, smoking urns, butt cans, smoke cans and other cigarette butt receptacles click here now.

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