Cigarette ballot bin in Dover’s Market Square

It’s the ‘million-dollar question’ being posed to smokers as part of the Great British Spring Clean’s #millionmilemission to clean our streets.

Two new cigarette ballot bins have been temporarily installed by Dover District Council (DDC) in both Dover and Deal town centres for the duration of the Great British Spring Clean campaign.

Designed to encourage smokers to dispose of their cigarette butts safely and responsibly, they can answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ by placing their cigarette butts in the butt ballot bin.

The bins are located at the Market Square in Dover and on the promenade by Beach Street Car Park in Deal, and it is hoped the question will be a great conversation starter as we build up to the UEFA EURO Football Championships taking place this year from 11 June – 11 July 2021.

DDC enforcement officers who are out and about will also have 1,000 cigarette pouches to give away to local residents, to encourage the responsible disposal of their cigarette litter.

The Great British Spring Clean takes place from 28 May until 13 June. Hosted by Keep Britain Tidy, the national campaign is on a #MillionMileMission to clear litter from the country’s streets, parks, beaches and countryside.

According to Keep Britain Tidy, cigarette litter is the number one littered item in the country and a unique type of litter – ‘cigarette butts are small, smelly, sometimes on fire and commonplace on the ground. Even smokers don’t like them much, and together these little butts add up to a very big problem’.

Smokers will often chuck their butts down the drain, thinking that they are helping to keep the streets clean, but harmful particles can wash up into the sea and poison our sea life.

Cllr Nick Kenton, DDC’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services, said: “We are pleased to be supporting the Great British Spring Clean with this fun initiative to encourage smokers to bin their butts. The council spends £1.5 million a year on street cleansing, and cigarette butts are a real problem. Smokers can really help by stubbing them out and binning them and we hope that this campaign will help get the message across.”

Local schools, businesses and community groups are being encouraged to do their bit for the Great British Spring Clean. Residents can also organise their own litter picks via DDC’s website Covid guidelines will be followed, with hand sanitiser and gloves available if needed.

By Ed

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