CENTRAL Victorians are being urged to stop littering cigarette butts, which damage local parks and waterways.
Central Goldfields Shire Council registered as a supporter of the first National Butt Free Day, held yesterday, in a bid to end the environmental impact of littering used cigarette butts.
Across Australia, cigarette butts represent about half the total number of items littered.About 7 billion cigarette butts are dumped each year.
Manager of the Central Goldfields Shire’s Go Goldfields projects Sharon Fraser said it was important to combat the issue.
“It is the highest littered item in the region,” she said. “The impact of butt littering is enormous.
“We are trying to recognise the impacts that butts have on waterway pollution, degradation of wildlife, health and habitat.
“We have a strong commitment to maintaining our waterways.”
As part of National Butt Free Day, personal butt disposal sachets were available, free of charge, from the Central Goldfields Council Office and Visitor Information Centre.
Ms Fraser said the initiative was a chance to get people talking.
“It’s an opportunity to look at the broader issue,” she said.
“We are looking at a range of approaches to help reduce smoking in the shire.”
Ms Fraser said local councils bore a substantial cost cleaning up cigarette butts.
Spokesman for the Butt Free Day John Phillips OAM said yesterday’s inaugural campaign was the start of an ongoing campaign. “This may be only one day, but it is part of our year-round stewardship to protect the Australian natural and built environment,” he said.