New ‘ballot bins’ for cigarette ends are being installed in Wigan and Leigh town centres to encourage smokers to bin their butt rather than dropping it on the floor.
The bins will ask tongue-in-cheek questions to get Wigan Borough’s smokers to put their butts where they belong – in the bin, not on the street.
Keep Britain Tidy estimates that 66 per cent of all littered items are cigarette butts with the vast majority of all cigarettes smoked ending up on the floor.
Councillor Paul Prescott, cabinet portfolio holder for environment, said: “These bins are a really clever initiative that have been shown to work elsewhere, so we are optimistic that we’ll see the same here.
“By encouraging people to make a choice with their cigarette butt, these styles of bins have been shown to reduce cigarette butt litter, and keep streets cleaner.”
Wigan Council spends an estimated £4million a year clearing litter and fly tipping from public places.
Through its Keep It Clean campaign, the local authority is working to tackle these issues by encouraging people to dispose of their waste responsibly and raising awareness of the damage that litter and fly tipping can do.
Coun Prescott added: “With cigarette butts thought to take up to 14 years to break apart, they can cause awful environmental damage. They are not biodegradable but instead can break down into microplastics and seep toxic chemicals like arsenic and lead into the earth and waterways. These bins are a light-hearted but hopefully effective approach to a really serious problem.
“I’m looking forward to seeing them getting full of cigarette ends with the first bin installed outside Wigan North Western station with the first and possibly most important question- pea wet or gravy on your chippy tea?”
Find out more by visiting Keep It Clean.