I WRITE regarding “A Case in Point” on Saturday, November 22, titled “No butts… you are responsible”.
I find myself in total agreement with your concern regarding people thoughtlessly displacing cigarette butts.
Quite correctly you highlighted the potential danger of people disposing of butts that are not completely extinguished, and the possibility of the butt igniting a fire.
However; as I understand it, even it the butt is correctly extinguished it still poses a serious problem for our community… as litter!
Butts accumulate in gutters, and when it rains they are swept into the stormwater systems etc.
This litter has to be removed.
While the butt is immersed in water it leaks many of the chemical contaminants or the catchment management authority can give you a more complete description.
Water authorities clean our water at a cost to the whole community.
Can the practice of improper disposal of butts be tackled?
When was the last time someone was fined for such behaviour, and how frequently are the fines imposed?
May I suggest that in order to remove this dirty habit of littering with butts, we look at making it mandatory that for smokers to buy a packed if cigarettes they must present a similar number of butts to the retailer?
These butts could be housed in a transparent envelope where the number is quickly interpretable.
Presently the problem of butt disposal is forced on to the general community.
Let's send the problem back to the perpetrators - individual smokers and their relatives.
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