Campaigners are urging smokers to dispose of their cigarette butts properly and not fill towns like Swanage with unwanted smoking related litter.
‘Bin Your Butt’ is an initiative, backed by Litter-free Purbeck, which aims to show people the harm of cigarette litter on the environment.
A display of cigarettes collected from the beach, along with facts about the pollution that they cause, is on display outside the Swanage Information Centre in Shore Road.
Flush directly onto the beach
Along streets such as Swanage’s Shore Road, cigarette butts are often found discarded on the pavement or road. They are then washed down the drains that flush directly onto the beach.
The campaign aims to discourage people from littering their finished cigarettes.
Along Shore Road the drains flush directly onto Swanage Beach depositing any litter onto the sand
What littered cigarettes do to the environment
In a 2017/18 study, Keep Britain Tidy found smoking related litter at 79 percent of a total of 7,200 surveyed places – a six percent rise from three years before.
Littered cigarette butts can have a devastating impact on the local environment and wildlife, especially in a coastal town like Swanage.
Butts contain plastics
The butts contain plastics and are not biodegradable, and when they end up in drains they can end up washed onto the beach and into the sea.
In studies, cigarette filters have been found inside the stomachs of marine animals such as fish, birds and even whales.
But they do not only damage the health of wildlife when ingested, as the waste can contain 7,000 toxic chemicals and heavy metals. Which can then pollute the environment and poison marine life.
Find out more about the Bin Your Butt campaign