How do you make sure smokers dispose of their cigarette-butts safely and keep public spaces litter-free?

The number of people smoking in the UK has been steadily declining, but cigarette filters remain a major litter problem in our public spaces.

Research by the Centre for Social Innovation in 2018 commissioned by Keep Britain Tidy as part of its #binthebutt campaign found that discarded cigarette butts are the most common type of litter.

Part of the problem is that cigarette butts are tricky to dispose of. They are often still alight and usually smelly. Many smokers don’t even realise that filters are not biodegradable and are harmful to the environment. Keep Britain Tidy’s study found that 39% of smokers, equivalent to 3.6million in the UK, admitted to throwing a cigarette butt down a drain within the past month.

The solution?

Be proactive and provide a way for smokers to dispose of their cigarette butts safely.

Deluxe Aluminium No Smoking Sign

Create designated smoking areas

Banned by law from smoking cigarettes indoors, smokers now head outside for breaks.

Without designed spaces smokers tend to cluster together at exits, blocking walkways and causing people who are visiting and attending events to have to walk through unpleasant smoke.

It is better to channel smokers to a designated and clearly-marked smoking area well away from entrances and exits to avoid annoying non-smokers and blocking pedestrian flow.

Tricircle Curve Ash Bin - BDW21

Provide plenty of cigarette bins

Source the right type of bin for the right conditions. Consider how much ash the bin needs to collect (capacity), whether it might get filled with rainwater or needs to be protected against the weather, whether you want permanent wall-mounted bins or free standing bins, and what style will best suit the business décor.

Read our Guide - How to choose the best cigarette bin for your home or business for more advice.