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Marsh Green 'bins the butt'
Thursday 10th September, 2009

Marsh Green 'bins the butt'
Some of the bollards disguised as cigarettes.

Talk about king-sized cigarettes!

In Marsh Green they’re as big as bollards…in fact they are bollards.

It’s all part of major community clean-up campaign that got underway this week.

On Monday September 7, shoppers and motorists came face-to-face with great big cigarettes that were part of the high-profile Anti Smoking Litter campaign, which will run all month.

Residents have told the council that carelessly discarded fag ends are a big problem and a real eyesore. But it’s not just Marsh Green that’s suffering, because cigarette litter is now the UK’s biggest rubbish problem according to the Keep Britain Tidy Campaign.

Ellen Belshaw, is from council’s Environmental Education Team and helped to organise the campaign. She says: “Litter costs the Wigan taxpayer £1M every year to clean up and cigarette butts make up the majority of this. However, research shows that many smokers don’t even see it as litter!

“So we think that if we let people know how big the problem is, they’re more likely to do something about it”

As part of the campaign, council staff are handing out more than 500 leaflets. A variety of posters and banners are being displayed around the area and the on-street bollards being transformed into giant cigarettes.

And it’s all aimed at reminding members of the public that dropping litter of any kind, including cigarette litter, is a against the law and carries a fine of £80.

Local businesses such as ‘Co-op’ have been offering their support and volunteers have been handing out FREE Stubbi pouches to their customers and passers by to encourage people to dispose of their cigarette ends responsibly. Wigan Council has also been providing shops with wall mounted ash trays.

To make sure the message hits home, next month the council and its partners will be getting tough on anyone caught throwing their cigarette ends on the floor. So throwing your butt on floor really could mean you get your fingers burnt – the tune of £80.

The campaign has been organised through the Partners and Communities Together (PACT) team for the area.

Nicola Robertson, from the Wigan South PACT team says: “We are really looking forward to be supporting our local businesses and trying to stop cigarette related litter being dropped. We would love our residents to support our campaign by doing the right thing and put their rubbish in the bin, and to remind people that dropping litter is against the law. Only by working together can we achieve a positive change for Marsh Green and help keep the area tidy. Don’t forget you can collect your Stubbi pouches from local shops throughout September”

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