City Corporation litter campaign stubs out cigarette butts across the Square Mile

The number of cigarettes discarded on City streets has fallen by a third in the wake of a crackdown on littering by the City of London Corporation.

Heavy fines for littering were introduced by the governing body of the Square Mile in April 2019. Enforcement Officers can now issue Fixed Penalty Notices of up to £150 to anyone dropping waste in the City, which can rise to £1,000 upon conviction at Magistrates Court.

Keep Britain Tidy (KBT) carried out several surveys before and after the increased penalties were brought in, finding nearly 5,000 fewer cigarette ends on the floor in the period after April*. The information was released during a meeting of the City Corporation’s Court of Common Council earlier today.

Smokers can use over 900 mounted ashtrays in the City to stub out and dispose of their cigarettes. In addition, there are 64 on-street Big Belly Bins for the public to use, which compact eight times as much rubbish as normal bins.

Jeremy Simons, Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Environmental Services Committee, said:

“Nobody has an excuse to drop their litter or cigarette ends in the Square Mile.

“While it is encouraging to see a reduction in the number of discarded cigarette butts, it’s obvious we still have some way to go to ridding the City of this largely non-biodegradable plastic menace.

“Our message is clear: if you throw your cigarette on the ground, you will be fined. I urge all smokers to use the hundreds of ashtrays available for the benefit of everyone who visits, works and lives in the City of London.”

The City Corporation spends £4.2 million a year cleaning the City’s streets and sweeps up six million cigarette butts every year.

Notes to Editors

About the City of London Corporation

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.

*In October 2018 and March 2019 KBT surveyed over 200 50m sections of City streets and found 15,418 cigarette butts. Surveys in August and October 2019 in the same areas found 10,917.

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