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Watch as we find out about Liverpool’s #BintheButt campaign which is aiming to get cigarette litter off the streets

1 month ago

By The Guide Liverpool

  • Liverpool City Council has teamed up with Keep Britain Tidy
  • Cigarette litter has an adverse effect to the environment

Liverpool City Council has joined forces with environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy to #BintheButt to stamp out cigarette litter, which causes significant damage to marine life in the River Mersey.

Smokers in the city are being asked to rethink how they dispose of their cigarettes, as research reveals that only half (53%) of people know that cigarette butts can get washed into the sea if they are dropped down the drain.

It is estimated that 3.6 million smokers in the UK have dropped a cigarette down the drain in the past month, whilst new research has found that just one cigarette butt per litre of water is highly toxic to fish.

A YouGov survey for Keep Britain Tidy found that just under four in ten (39%) smokers admit to throwing a cigarette butt down a drain within the past month. However, one in ten (11%) do not even consider cigarette butts to be litter.

Just over a third (38%) of smokers know that cigarettes contain plastic, yet nearly four out of five (77%) smokers were concerned that the toxins from their cigarettes cause significant harm to marine life. 

Cigarette filters are comprised of thousands of chemical ingredients, including arsenic, lead and nicotine, all of which can leak into marine environments.

The research also showed that over a third of daily smokers (33%) thought that cigarette butts that get dropped down the drain were filtered out in water treatment, 8% thought they remained in the drains and 10% thought butts were biodegradable.

The #BinTheButt awareness campaign is the latest instalment of the new Keep Liverpool Tidy partnership, between the city council and Keep Britain Tidy, which is a wider programme to improve the city’s cleanliness.

Earlier in the year, the city council invited Keep Britain Tidy to carry out a city-wide inspection. More than 300 sites were assessed and the survey found litter and graffiti in Liverpool to be three times that of the national average.

In response, the city council, which spends £9.5m a year cleaning up litter, has embarked on a year-long environmental action programme, with a specific focus on litter in parks, dog fouling, flytipping and commercial waste.

The council has also recently launched the UK’s first underground superbin scheme in densely built up residential areas to tackle black bin bag waste and vermin related issues.

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