BUTTS are out at beaches, says Rye environmental activist Josie Jones.
Ms Jones says litter surveys counted 31,000 cigarette butts on the streets and foreshore over the past year which, “for a small coastal town of just over 12,000 residents, is 85 butts a day”.
“From November each year, the surge of visitors increases by 1400 per cent and, with them, comes litter,” Ms Jones said.
“With 95 per cent of beach litter coming via stormwater, getting butts in bins is so important.”
The Only Butt campaign began rolling out in Rye last week. Bin posters were put up, posters and letters put in shops and 10 Enviropole freestanding ashtrays installed for the use of smokers.
The mayor Cr Bryan Payne has joined the campaign to help educate smokers on the ills of littering.
“We hope to inspire littering smokers to change their ritual and get butts in bins and off our streets,” he said.
The campaign will run until the election of the next mayor in November and will be taking litter audits, surveys and making a short film on littering.
The Only Butt has been put forward for a community award for Keep Australia Beautiful in which head Judge Robbie Rae visited the shire a fortnight ago.
“She loved the campaign and thought it was a clever way to engage the community on a serious subject,” Ms Jones said.