Limerick Leader editor Alan English has teamed up with Helen O’Donnell of the Limerick City Tidy Towns committee for a new campaign which is aimed at “knocking-out” cigarette-related litter in the city.
According to the most recent litter statistics, more than two thirds of litter dumped on streets around the city is related to cigarette butts.
With the judging for this year’s Tidy Towns national competition just around the corner, smokers are being urged to dispose of their cigarette butts in bins.
Cigarette butts are unsightly and a considerable amount of time is spent - by Limerick City Council and volunteers - cleaning them up.
“Cigarette and cigarette related litter is a problem in Limerick. Our Tidy Towns volunteers should not have to waste time picking up cigarette butts. If you smoke please bin your butt,” said Ms O’Donnell, chairwoman of the Limerick City Tidy Towns committee.
Mr English said that he is fully supportive of the campaign.
“Considerate smokers don’t litter. Thank you to those smokers who put their cigarette butt in the bin.” he said this week.
Sinead McDonnell of Limerick City Council says cigarette butts are litter.
“There is no getting away from it. Cigarette butts are litter, dropping cigarette butts is littering - no different to other littering. The couple of cigarette butts that you drop every day is the same as emptying your car ashtray onto the roadside every week,” she said adding that Limerick City Council supports the efforts of Limerick Tidy Towns groups to knock out cigarette litter.
Unlike most other forms of rubbish, which are likely to degrade over time, cigarette filters are made of cellulose acetate and plastic fibres and can take decades to biodegrade.
The most recent National Litter Monitoring Survey results reveal that cigarette related litter tops the statistics for the most frequent type of litter across the country.
Statistics relating to Limerick city are in line with the national findings with cigarette-related litter accounting for 69.5% of all litter on our city streets.
“The message from the local authority is simple. Cigarette butts are litter and subject to a fine of €150. Avoid the fine, bin your butt,” said Ms McDonnell.
Tidy Towns groups across Limerick are doing their bit to make Limerick a cleaner brighter place to work, live and visit.