Cigarette butt litter a bad habit too

Published 11:56 pm Saturday, August 6, 2011

Keep Natchez-Adams County Beautiful will take part this year in a national program to reduce the impact of cigarette butt litter, the Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Program.

In its focus of the month of August, Keep Natchez-Adams County Beautiful will target cigarette butt litter throughout Alcorn’s Natchez Campus and near the Natchez Convention Center and bluff area through a concentrated and sustained effort.

The program’s strategic approach involves all stakeholders in the cigarette litter problem, including businesses, law enforcement, local governments, community organizations and, importantly, smokers themselves.

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Mayors and community leaders nationwide have been increasingly seeking solutions to the litter issue.

The Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Program addresses the issue by integrating four proven approaches: encouraging litter laws that include cigarette litter; raising awareness about the issue using public service messages; placing ash receptacles at transition points such as entrances to public buildings and distributing pocket ashtrays to adult smokers.

Communities who participated in this program reported an average 46 percent reduction in littered butts as a result of implementing the program.

Cigarette butts are the most-littered item in America, representing nearly 30 percent of all items documented in nationwide clean-up initiatives.

Special thanks to Community Improvement Specialist Anita Smith, Public Works Director Robbie Dollar and Home Hardware for all their help with this program.

This is not the first year for Natchez to participate in this program.

Natchez and Adams County continues to find the program a valuable tool for educating its community on litter prevention and the facts about cigarette litter.

Darlene Jones is a member of Keep Natchez-Adams County Beautiful.