There has been a sudden increase in complaints about cigarette butts littering the streets of Great Yarmouth.

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Nationally an estimated 200 million butts are thrown away ever day and smoking-related rubbish now the UK’s biggest litter problems according to Keep Britain Tidy.

And following a rise in complaints over the past four months, Great Yarmouth Borough Council has reminded residents that dropping cigarette ends is breaking the law.

Cigarettes can take up to 12 years to degrade fully and contain chemicals which are damaging to marine life, birds and the environment.

Anyone caught dropping litter, including cigarette butts, can be issued with an on-the-spot fine of up to £80, or prosecuted and fined up to £2,500 in court, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.

Locally, complaints have been about a build-up of butts outside of pubs.

Councillor Val Pettit, the borough council’s cabinet member for the environment, said: “Most smokers are responsible and dispose of their butts in an ashtray, dedicated smoking litter bin, or by extinguishing them underfoot and throwing them in a normal bin.

“But many, because they wrongly assume cigarette waste is too small to be classed as litter, still drop them ground, where they blight the environment, waste money in clear-up costs and endanger wildlife.

“The council provides adequate public bins around the town, and there are also ‘personal ashtrays’ on the market to help you dispose of butts whether you are near a bin or not. This is also a reminder to commercial premises themselves, which can have action taken against them if they aren’t providing butt bins and/or ashtrays, or cleaning the front of their premises.”

Butts are made of plastic and cellulose acetate which can take up to 12 years to degrade.

7 comments

  • Contrary to the out of date information here, latest research shows that passive smoking is NOT a risk to health!

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    Clarkson for PM

    Saturday, December 28, 2013

  • how can they ever work out that smoking related rubbish is the biggest cost to the country now?. you only have to look around the road side fences and see the amount of fast food rubbish has been collected by the wind .we have a mechanical road sweeper that cleans a main road and yet just leaves the housing estates roads it doesn't make sense to clean a road that collects rubbish as quick as it is cleaned and leave smaller roads

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    i am mostly wrong??

    Thursday, December 26, 2013

  • It is the stuff of American horror movies, that different parts of a country have different laws......how are visitors to a town supposed to know what is, and is not, permitted?

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    Clarkson for PM

    Saturday, December 28, 2013

  • It seems to me, judging by the amount of litter of any description around the borough, that no-one is getting fined for dropping it. Something also needs to be done about the amount of chewing gum that gets spat out especially outside the night club in King Street, they should be made to clean it off the pavements, it's a disgusting sight. I'm suprised that the Mercury hasn't commented on it as it's so close to their offices.

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    Spooky

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • Maybe Ms. petit should look at all rubbish and liiering, including the thoughtlessness of its own council, one of many. GYBC electronic waste, their regular updating of computers, leaves a legacy of poisonous and cancer causing substances to the next generations. GYBC has got one of the worst recycling records in the country and could do much better. There are jobs in recycling resources and she should lobby her NCC rep. Cllr. Castle, to stop taklking about incineration and polluting peoples lifes, but instead fund modern methods of recycling these vastly increasing waste streams. And fine yourselfs for not having had the courage a decade ago.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • Here is a quick and easy solution, send out some of these policemen I have read about in books and hammer some litterers with hefty fines. If a few people get fines it should discourage other people from littering. You don't need to catch everyone, and employing more people to clean it up doesn't get to the root of the problem. We need harsh punishment and active police.

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    Z:)

    Thursday, December 26, 2013

  • when every one is complaining about the simple things like fag butts on the pavement or this litter or that litter you really need to ask the big question " why is it still there " the answer is the council have had to cut millions from there budget due to the great and all powerful conservative saviors to all that is wrong or labour run has decreed a big cut possibly as labour are in charge . due to this outrages budget cut all the road sweepers have been redeployed or made redundant along with all the toilet attendants and with there disappearance there is no longer the manpower to keep the streets clean . the new policy is to wait until the council and GYBC receive complaints about a bad area send a small team in to clean up that area and ignore all the other areas

    Report this comment

    hunterman

    Monday, December 23, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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