Stubbing out litter problem in Montrose

The Picture House assistant manager Karan Hodges accepting one of the ciggie bins from waste management inspector David Morgan
The Picture House assistant manager Karan Hodges accepting one of the ciggie bins from waste management inspector David Morgan

Pubs in Montrose have joined with Angus Council in their efforts to encourage smokers to clean up their act and cut down on street litter.

The local authority got in touch with licensed premises in Montrose recently to ask them if they would support Angus Council’s anti-litter message and accept their gift of a cigarette bin.

Angus Council’s office metal bins were surplus due to improved recycling, but have been put to new use as sand-filled ciggie receptacles. Pubs in Arbroath were first to pilot the initiative and it proved popular with those publicans who got involved.

A number of Montrose hostelries have now taken a bin as part of the campaign to discourage smokers from simply throwing their cigarette ends away. A few already had their own cigarette bins and all were keen to take campaign posters to highlight the issue.

The Picture House in Hume Street happily received some of Angus Council’s bins, and they are easy to spot outside the sports bar.

There is no excuse for flicking away a used cigarette and any smokers that do could receive a fine of £80. If Angus Council enforcement officers see someone littering, including cigarettes, they will issue a fixed penalty notice.

It is startling to know that around 70 per cent of town and city streets in Scotland have smoking related litter, with 12 tonnes of smoking litter, including 20 million cigarette butts, dropped, thrown or flicked onto Scottish streets every day.

Cigarette butts leak toxins that can contaminate water and are harmful to the environment. Filters can end up in the stomachs of fish and other sea creatures, birds and animals, including household pets.

It can take 12 years for cigarette filters to degrade and its costs the taxpayer £34 million per year to have smoking related litter cleared from Scotland’s streets.

Worldwide 5.6 trillion (that is 5,600,000,000,000) cigarette butts are dumped into the global environment every year.