LIMERICK City Council has launched a new campaign in an effort to stop smokers from throwing cigarette butts on the street.
According to the latest National Pollution Monitoring survey results for Limerick, cigarette butts account for a massive 77.3 per cent of the litter on streets in the city centre.
Not only are cigarette butts unsightly litter but research has shown it can take up to twelve years for a cigarette butt to biodegrade.
“I am calling on all smokers to dispose of the cigarette butts correctly. Butts and cigarette related litter cause significant litter problems in our city,” said the Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Jim Long as he launched the new campaign.
“Smokers need to realise that cigarette butts are litter. If you drop a cigarette butt on our city streets you are rubbishing the city you live in. The place for a cigarette butt is the bin. Please stub it and bin it,” said Caroline Curley, director of service at City Hall.
As part of the initiative, Limerick City council has re-branded two of the mechanical sweepers in its fleet of street cleaning vehicles to incorporate the message “Don’t Use Our City as an Astray”.
In addition to this, Limerick City Council says staff at its Environment Department will be targeting cigarette butt litter in other ways over the next few months.
The Council’s environmental inspectors in conjunction with the Gardai will be patrolling city centre streets in the coming weeks to distribute over 2,000 ‘bin your butt’ personal ashtrays to city centre shoppers and retailers selling cigarettes.
The local authority will also supply 35 outdoor ashtrays free to businesses in the city centre.
According to officials at City Hall, the environmental inspectors will be paying particular attention to city centre businesses and basements and the local authority is reminding businesses that are obliged by law to maintain the path in front of their premises.