Communities Report Prolonged Success in Reducing Cigarette Butt Litter

    Communities Report Prolonged Success in Reducing Cigarette Butt Litter

PR Newswire

STAMFORD, Conn., Feb. 7, 2013

-- National Program Continues to Reduce Cigarette Litter by More than Half --

STAMFORD, Conn., Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Keep America
Beautiful (KAB) reports an average 55 percent reduction of cigarette litter in
the communities implementing KAB's Cigarette Litter Prevention Program (CLPP)
during 2012. In 2012, the program's 10^th year, there were 195 grant-supported
implementations across the country in a variety of places including downtowns,
roadways, beaches, parks, marinas, colleges/universities, tourist spots, and
at special events.

Over the past seven years, the CLPP has consistently cut cigarette butt litter
by half based on local measurements taken in the first four months to six
months after a program implementation. Survey results also showed that as
communities continue to monitor the program those reductions are sustained or
even increased over time. For example, more than 100 communities that started
programs in 2011 achieved an average reduction of 48 percent that year, and
increased that reduction by an additional 17 percent when measured again in
2012.

"Cigarette litter may still be a significant issue throughout the country, but
our Cigarette Litter Prevention Program is making a difference in communities
where the program is being implemented," said Matthew M. McKenna, president
and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. "Through consistent and persistent public
education in combination with access to receptacles, we can lessen the
environmental harm cigarette litter places on our landscapes and waterways."

Tobacco products, consisting mainly of cigarette butts, are the most littered
item in America, representing nearly 38 percent of all items, according to
"Litter in America," KAB's landmark 2009 study of litter and littering
behavior. In response to this issue, KAB developed the CLPP with funding from
Philip Morris USA, an Altria company. Since 2010, the program has received
additional support from RAI Services Company. Since its inception, the
program has been implemented in 1,263 U.S. communities.

"We studied 12 sites over an 11-week period and realized a 68 percent
reduction in cigarette litter at sites where we had public education, signage
and ash receptacles as compared with control sites where we didn't have those
CLPP program components," said Adam Roberts, executive director of KAB
affiliate Hot Springs/Garland County Beautification Commission in Hot Springs,
Ark. 

"Ground crews and staff at every site where interventions took place commented
about the reductions in cigarette litter and – as important – litter in
general," added Roberts, who noted a 33 percent decrease in the amount of
general litter at those sites.

In addition to Keep America Beautiful affiliates, KAB offered grants through
its partnership with the International Downtown Association (IDA) and
International City/County Management Association (ICMA) in 2012. In Southwest
Detroit, the West Vernor and Springwells Business Improvement District
realized an 81 percent reduction in cigarette litter between July and October.
With 10 receptacles installed, the organization estimated it saved four hours
of maintenance per week. "The impact in reducing litter through the CLPP has
been astonishing," said Matthew Bihun, BID program manager.

Research has shown that even self-reported "non-litterers" often don't
consider tossing cigarette butts on the ground to be "littering." Keep America
Beautiful has found that cigarette butt litter occurs most often at transition
points—areas where a person must stop smoking before proceeding into another
area. These include bus stops, entrances to stores and public buildings, and
the sidewalk areas outside of bars and restaurants, among others.

To address cigarette butt litter, KAB's Cigarette Litter Prevention Program
recommends communities integrate four proven approaches:

  oEncourage enforcement of litter laws, including cigarette litter;
  oRaise awareness about the issue using public service messages;
  oPlace ash receptacles at transition points such as entrances to public
    buildings; and
  oDistribute pocket or portable ashtrays to adult smokers.

The "Guide to Cigarette Litter Prevention" provides information about starting
and maintaining a Cigarette Litter Prevention Program in your community, and
can be found online at PreventCigaretteLitter.org.

About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful is the nation's leading nonprofit that brings people
together to build and sustain vibrant communities. With a strong national
network of 1,200 affiliates and partners including state recycling
organizations, we work with millions of volunteers who take action in their
communities.

Keep America Beautiful offers programs and engages in public-private
partnerships that help create clean, beautiful public places, reduce waste and
increase recycling while educating generations of environmental stewards.
Through our actions, we help create communities that are socially connected,
environmentally healthy and economically sound. For more information, visit
kab.org.

CONTACTS
Lynn Markley/Bronwen Evans
Tel: 203.659.3072 / 203.659.3020
Email: lmarkley@kab.org / bevans@kab.org
Web site: www.kab.org

SOURCE Keep America Beautiful
 
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