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By: Mary Jean Yon, Executive Director, on June 20, 2016
Did you know that cigarette butts are one of the most littered items in Florida? Dropping a cigarette butt on the ground, flicking it out of a car window or tossing it into a waterway is considered littering no matter how you slice it.
In addition to the esthetic damage this form of litter causes, there is also a threat to both domestic animals and wildlife either through ingestion or fire hazards that threaten habitat.
Lucky for us, the Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Program (CLPP) is making strides in educating the public about this issue and ensuring a cleaner tomorrow. The CLPP program is aimed at reducing cigarette litter and has been implemented in more than 1500 communities throughout the U.S.
In Florida, the following three affiliates recently received grants to help contribute to that education process:
Keep Alachua County Beautiful was awarded $5000 to broadcast Cigarette Litter Prevention Program public service announcements in traditional and social media.
Keep Charlotte Beautiful was awarded $5000 to have signs made for their Litter Free Events explaining that Cigarette Butts are Litter Too. They are also partnering with other organizations to distribute drink coasters at local establishments and to develop and broadcast public service announcements.
Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful was awarded $2500 to enlist a current Adopt-A-Road community group of volunteers to be their Street Team for the Main Street area of Thonotosassa which is adjacent to the largest freshwater lake in Hillsborough County.
In addition to raising awareness about this issue, Keep America Beautiful, through the CLPP, also provides pocket or portable ashtrays to adult smokers in an attempt to change behavior and keep our communities clean. For more information, click here: https://www.kab.org/cigarette-litter-prevention/problem-and-facts