National Keep America Beautiful Initiative reports 60 percent reduction of cigarette litter in participating communities during 2016
Juno Beach, Florida – Keep America Beautiful, the national nonprofit that envisions a country in which every community is a clean, green and beautiful place to live, recently announced that Loggerhead Marinelife Center will receive a 2017 Cigarette Litter Prevention Program (CLPP) Grant of $20,000 to combat cigarette litter on more than 50 fishing piers.
Loggerhead Marinelife Center is one of 37 organizations to receive grant funding for 2017, totaling $297,500 through the 2017 CLPP. The Cigarette Litter Prevention Program, now in its 15th year, is the nation’s largest program aimed at reducing cigarette litter. Communities that implemented the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program in 2016 realized an average 60 percent reduction in cigarette litter, an eight percent increase over the 2015 results.
Loggerhead Marinelife Center will install cigarette ash receptacles on all piers involved in the Center’s Responsible Pier Initiative, which was created in 2013 to educate anglers and other pier-goers about responsible fishing and recycling practices, and how to respond if a sea turtle is accidentally hooked. These piers are located throughout Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Puerto Rico.
“We are truly grateful for Keep America Beautiful’s Cigarette Litter Prevention Program,” said Tommy Cutt, LMC’s chief conservation officer. “In 2016, our staff and volunteers documented nearly 700 cigarette butts on local beaches – also listed on the Ocean Conservancy’s top five deadliest ocean trash items. This grant will enable us to install these cigarette receptacles and help reduce marine debris.”
Keep America Beautiful affiliates, local governments, business improvement districts, downtown associations, parks and recreation areas and other organizations dedicated to ending litter and beautifying communities are receiving grants. Since the establishment of the national initiative, communities in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada have implemented the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program to reduce cigarette litter.
“We are increasingly optimistic about ending cigarette butt litter in America,” said Keep America Beautiful COO Becky Lyons. “Keep America Beautiful and our Cigarette Litter Prevention Program partners are dedicated to educating consumers on the hazards of litter and providing the tools to change their behavior. Recent cigarette litter reduction numbers show we are moving in the right direction towards making the littering of cigarette butts – and littering in general – socially unacceptable in our country.”
Since its establishment, the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program has consistently cut cigarette butt litter by approximately half based on local measurements taken in the first four to six months after program implementation. Survey results also demonstrate that as communities continue to implement and monitor the program those reductions are sustained or even increased over time. Keep America Beautiful has distributed nearly $3.3 million in grant funding since 2006 to support local implementation of the program in more than 1,700 communities.
Grants provided by Keep America Beautiful through the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program fund implementations across the country in a variety of community settings including downtowns, roadways, beaches, parks, marinas, colleges/universities, tourist locations, and at special event locations.
Tobacco products, consisting mainly of cigarette butts, are the most littered item in America, representing nearly 38 percent of all items littered, according to “Litter in America,” Keep America Beautiful’s landmark study of litter and littering behavior. 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.
The “Guide to Cigarette Litter Prevention” provides information about starting and maintaining a Cigarette Litter Prevention Program in any community, and can be found online at PreventCigaretteLitter.org. View the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program PSA video on Keep America Beautiful’s YouTube channel as well as the Cigarette Litter in America Infographic here.
The Cigarette Litter Prevention Program is supported by funding from Philip Morris USA, an Altria company; RAI Services Company; and the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company.