Bin Your Butt or face a fine

Keep Australia Beautiful Council chairman Michael Aspinall launches the Bin Your Butt campaign alongside two litter inspectors.
Keep Australia Beautiful Council chairman Michael Aspinall launches the Bin Your Butt campaign alongside two litter inspectors.

WA smokers are on notice – flicking or dropping cigarette butts is littering and offenders will face fines.

Keep Australia Beautiful Council (KABC) chairman Michael Aspinall was in Mullaloo today to launch the State’s latest anti-cigarette butt litter campaign – Bin Your Butt.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson had called for the campaign in response to statistics from last year that showed almost a third of all litter found in WA was cigarette butts and packaging.

Under the Litter Act 1979, anyone incorrectly disposing of a cigarette butt can be fined $200.

This includes flicking cigarettes from a vehicle and stubbing out and leaving butts in public areas such as footpaths, roads and gutters.

If the butt was still lit when dropped, it can lead to a $500 fine.

As well as a fire risk, cigarette butts are made from non-biodegradable plastic which can take up to 15 years to break down.

Butts washed into stormwater drains and waterways also leach toxic chemicals such as cadmium, lead and zinc.

They are also commonly mistaken for food by marine life and have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds, sea turtles and other marine creatures.

Mr Aspinall said the council “really needed” the community’s help to “make a difference and to protect our environment”.

“If you are a smoker, please dispose of your cigarette butts responsibly into waste bins,” he said.

“I also urge people to register to become a KABC litter reporter today to help protect our environment for future generations.”

The litter reporter scheme recently registered its 15,000th reporter and has already issued 2295 litter infringements this year.

To sign up, visit www.kabc.wa.gov.au.

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