St Helier businesses targeted in campaign to Bin The Butt
BUSINESSES are being targeted in St Helier as part of a parish crackdown on cigarette-butt litter.
The parish authorities are contacting companies in town where there is a build-up of cigarette butts and encouraging them to take action.
Tony Andrews, director of St Helier public services, says that along with chewing gum, discarded cigarettes are the worst items of litter to deal with.
He said: ‘People don’t see them as litter. They are difficult to pick up and we have a lot of mechanical equipment to deal with the issue. But you get defeated because it rains and they get washed into the gullies.’
Once in the gullies and drains, cigarette butts can be washed onto the beach and into the sea.
Staff from the parish will note areas in town where there has been an accumulation of cigarette butts and ask the businesses concerned to install ashtrays that smokers can use.
‘Quite often it’s around nightclubs and places open late at night,’ he added. ‘The place is covered in cigarette butts and chewing gum.
‘While some businesses may already have the ashtray bins, they don’t empty them and so we have to go and remind them.’
The parish is highlighting the issue with a poster on the side of one of its refuse vehicles, urging smokers not to cause litter.
According to a survey carried out in England by the charity Keep Britain Tidy, cigarette butts were the most common form of littering on 79% of the 2,700 sites surveyed.
It is highlighting the issue with its #BinTheButt campaign, and says that as well as plastic, cigarette filters are comprised of thousands of chemical ingredients, including arsenic, lead and nicotine, all of which can leak into marine environments.
Meanhile, residents have been raising the issue on social media.
One father-of-two was so concerned about the amount of litter still to be cleared nearly a week after a bank holiday Portuguese spring festival, he decided to clear up himself.
Cameron Elliott, a personal trainer and gym owner, filmed himself collecting over 5,000 cigarette butts from Les Jardins de la Mer on Sunday evening and posted on the Facebook group Jersey Ask! Advise!Advertise!
‘We took the little ones to Elizabeth Castle at the weekend and walked across to the castle ducks. I had to carry them [his children] because no one had cleared the litter from the area six days after the event.’
After three hours he had collected thousands of cigarette butts and other pieces of plastic.
‘It’s a shame to see a popular site in such a mess,’ he added. ‘It was a great event but there were no ashtrays.’
He is planning to do further litter cleans in popular areas once a week and, following his solo effort on Sunday, has been offered a dolphin-watching trip with his family by a local charter company.
Joe Mourant, from Le Mourier Marine, saw Mr Elliott’s post on Facebook.
‘I was moved to offer him something for such a public-spirited display. Working at sea, we too are often sickened by litter we see blighting the marine environment.’
A spokesman from the States of Jersey Development Company, which manages the land at Les Jardins de la Mer, said there had been delays in removing all the stalls from the food fair and the litter clear-up had been delayed by Liberation Day and bad weather on Friday.