Beachgoers urged to bin their butts

Beach anti-litter campaign #UNSMOKE was launched at the weekend.

Roughly 2 500 cigarette butts were removed from Milnerton and Table View’s beaches at the launch of the anti-litter campaign, #Unsmoke, on Saturday December 7.

The campaign is an initiative of tobacco company Philip Morris SA, and is supported by the City of Cape Town and Clean C, an NGO that runs beach-clean-ups on the first Saturday of the month.

The campaign encourages beach-going smokers to dispose of their butts correctly, and so-called “butt buckets” have been made available for this purpose.

Clifton and Camps Bay beaches were also included in the launch.

Philip Morris SA managing director Marcelo Nico said they wanted to make smokers aware of the harm they did to the environment and get them to change their behaviour.

“We’re going a step further to provide beach ashtrays to make it easier to dispose of cigarette butts responsibly. Have some fun in the sun this festive season, but remember that our beaches are not ashtrays,” said Mr Nico.

Greg Player, director of Clean C, said more than 60 volunteers had combed the beach at Milnerton Lighthouse and Table View Beachfront, close to Marine Circle, for stompies.

Mr Player said cigarette butts might be small but they were a source of ocean pollution when not disposed of responsibly.

“We encourage the public to get involved in preserving the heritage of our beautiful coastlines,” he said.

Mayco member for water and waste Xanthea Limberg said: “The City is happy to support this programme, especially during a period that sees high numbers of visitors to our beautiful beaches. Our cleansing teams are on the ground daily, but it can be challenging to keep up with the amount of litter generated throughout the day, particularly in the case of cigarette butts which are relatively small. We encourage all beach goers to take responsibility for their waste – by working together we can make a big difference.”

For more information about Clean C go to www.cleanc.co.za