Businesses in Belmullet are backing a campaign by the Tidy Towns Committee to eradicate cigarette butt littering in the Erris capital.
It all started back in December 2013, at a meeting in the Talbot Hotel, when Belmullet Tidy Towns held a special event in relation to their ‘Bin Your Butt’ campaign.
Sharon Cameron, Environmental Awareness Officer from Mayo Co. Co., was the special guest.
The event aimed to inform the local community – residents and business owners – about the reality of cigarette butt littering. Belmullet Tidy Towns is not concerned with whether or not people choose to smoke.
Said a spokesperson for Belmullet Tidy Towns: “We are concerned with the amount of cigarette-related litter on our streets.
“Here are three interesting facts: it can take up to 12 years for one butt to degrade; cigarette butts meet the scientific definition of toxic waste; and 68% of the litter on the streets of Belmullet streets comprise cigarette butts alone (source: Mayo Co. Co. Litter League 2013).
The ‘Bin Your Butt’ campaign included a poetry competition for the national school students of Belmullet National School, and the creation of short YouTube video films by the Multimedia students in Áras Inis Gluaire which can be viewed via the Belmullet Tidy Towns’ Facebook Page.
New cigarette bins for Belmullet business premises
As part of the campaign, which is sponsored by Mayo County Council, 12 business owners at the event were delighted to be presented with brand new cigarette bins for their premises.
The Tidy Towns team were delighted to install these bins around the town in recent weeks.
“Over 80% of smokers say that they would properly dispose of their butts if suitable bins were available, and for every additional cigarette bin, the littering rate for cigarette butts decreases by 9%.
“We are looking forward to seeing evidence of this now in our town, and we sincerely thank all smokers for their cooperation – your help is vital,” added the Tidy Towns spokesperson.