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Angeline Poole
by Published on August 6, 2020

If you go walking along your local beach or open space you are likely to find cigarette butts. Although the majority of a cigarette is burnt away, the filter that is left is actually made of plastic.  This means that every cigarette butt that is not ‘binned’ and left as litter, ends up washing down our streets, into drains and then our waterways where they eventually end up in Corio and Port Phillip Bay.  These butts are easily mistaken for food by our marine wildlife, causing them serious harm. 

Butts are the most abundant litter item in the world and make up 50% of the Geelong regions litter. A local program called Caring For Our Bays (CFOB) works closely with land managers like the City of Greater Geelong to tackle the issue of litter and raise awareness about the impacts of litter in our local bays. This program has facilitated hundreds of community and business litter clean-ups throughout Geelong and the Bellarine over the last three years and has helped identify the prolific nature of cigarette butts along our coastline.

To tackle this issue, CFOB in partnership with land managers across the region, have installed ten ‘Butt Bins’ at strategic locations near beaches, piers, boat ramps and picnic areas to encourage smokers to bin their butts and protect our marine life. Another five bins will be installed in northern Geelong by the end of 2020. These installations have already seen a decrease in littered butts and the hope is that they will help turn the tide of plastic pollution in our region.  So please be a local hero - bin your butt and ask others to do the same, because every butt counts.

If you would like to get involved and help Care For Your Bay, please contact Bellarine Catchment Network at info@bcn.org.au or visit www.environmentbellarine.org.au

 

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