Smokers throughout Wiltshire are being encouraged to safely extinguish their cigarettes and then Bin the Butt with the launch of a new campaign that aims to reduce cigarette litter.
The campaign, in association with Keep Britain Tidy, highlights what happens to cigarette butts when they're thrown on the floor; not only are they unsightly, they're also bad for the environment, as many get washed down drains and into rivers and seas, harming fish and wildlife.
Cigarette filters contain plastic and are comprised of thousands of chemical ingredients, including arsenic, lead and nicotine, all of which are highly toxic to fish and other marine creatures.
In Wiltshire, 89kg of smoking-related waste is dropped as litter daily, equivalent to 588 wheelie bins per year (Action on Smoking in Health).
Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Waste, said: "Dropped cigarette butts are the most common form of littering in Britain; they're an eyesore and also harmful to the environment.
"In Wiltshire, we spend £2.8m annually picking up litter, and a significant portion of that is spent cleaning up smoking-related rubbish. This money would be better spent on vital services, such as protecting the most vulnerable in our communities.
"If you are a smoker, please extinguish your cigarette and then dispose of it carefully in a bin or use one of our free pocket ashtrays.
"Our enforcement officers are targeting people who litter throughout Wiltshire, and anyone caught throwing litter in our beautiful county could be issued with a fixed penalty notice and a £150 fine."
While stocks last, residents can pick up a free pocket ashtray from the receptions at County Hall in Trowbridge; Bourne Hill in Salisbury; or Monkton Park in Chippenham. These pocket ashtrays allow smokers to effectively extinguish their cigarettes before disposing of the butts the next time they find a bin.
For those who do smoke and want to stop for good, Conservative led Wiltshire Council can provide support, including dedicated health trainers, who can assist you every step of the way to stop smoking. Find out more.