HANDHELD ashtrays known as ‘Buttholders’ will be distributed as part of a campaign to keep beaches clean during the summer holidays.
As part of the 2023 Love Your Beach project, Litter Free Dorset is working with BCP Council and community partners to reduce cigarette litter across key beaches, such as Bournemouth and Poole.
Litter Free Dorset will be launching their brand new Buttholders at the start of the holidays. The ashtrays are printed on Notpla Paper and designed to help reduce the number of cigarettes stubbed straight into the sand by smokers on the beach.
In a 2021 Hubbub survey in Bournemouth, in just one month more than 48,000 cigarette butts were mapped using drone technology at locations including the beach and Lower Gardens.
Cigarette butts are the most littered item globally, and have a severely detrimental effects on marine life and water quality, according to Litter Free Dorset coordinator, Emma Teasdale.
“Cigarette butts are a huge problem across our beaches and there is still a lack of knowledge about the environmental impact of cigarette litter,” she said.
“Cigarette butts contain micro plastics and leach toxins such as formaldehyde, nicotine, arsenic, lead, mercury, and chromium into the ground and our waterways. Just one butt can pollute 1,000 litres of water.”
The Buttholder project will be rolled out at Whitley Lake, Shore Road, Branksome Chine and Canford Cliffs beaches, with support from BCP council in the form of cigarette Ballot Bins at each location.
Meanwhile, Litter Free Dorset is set to host pop-up beach events tomorrow (Wednesday, July 26) from noon-4pm at Branksome Chine Beach and from 5pm-7pm at Whitley Lake.
Free Buttholders will also be distributed throughout the summer by RNLI lifeguards on the beach, and at BCP beachfront catering outlets.
Andrew Brown, BCP Council seafront operations manager, said: “Our hardworking seafront team goes out in the early hours of every morning to ensure our beaches are safe and clean, often collecting many tonnes of waste from the beach.
“But reducing litter on our beaches – which includes cigarette butts, is the responsibility of everyone who enjoys spending time here.
“This initiative from Litter Free Dorset, which has the potential to reduce the amount of cigarette butts discarded on our beaches, is a positive step in combating this issue and I encourage everyone to collect a Buttholder from the relevant places issuing them during the trial and use it throughout the day, then dispose of it in the bins along the promenade or take it home and dispose of it there.
“We all have a part to play in keeping our beaches clean and safe for the enjoyment of everyone.”
Litter Free Dorset thanked partners Easy Riders, Poseidon Watersports, Rockwater, Tesco, Rick Stein Restaurant, Notpla, the Branksome Chine Beach Life Saving Club and BCP Council for their support.