Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Smokers can cast ‘vote’ with new ‘butt bins’  

Yermasoyia Municipality

A new campaign titled ‘Bin Your Butt’ aims to encourage smokers to rethink how they dispose of their cigarette butts.  Launched by environmental non-profit organisation Let’s Make Cyprus Green (LMCG) with the support of the Yermasoyia municipality, ‘Bin Your Butt’ seeks to decrease cigarette butt litter throughout Cyprus.

LMCG will be installing Ballot Bins throughout the island. Each bin displays a question with a choice of two answers. Smokers vote by putting their cigarette butt in the slot below their preferred answer. The litter stacks up behind the clear glass front in two columns, showing which answer is more popular.

The question can be funny, topical, provocative – something simple which works for the intended audience.

“People who throw away cigarette butts are not eager to answer questions about the environment,” Eleni Kazelas, co-founder and chair of Let’s Make Cyprus Green explained.

“Some of the questions are: What do you prefer? The beach or the mountains? Do you prefer coffee or tea?”

“Smokers find the bins more engaging than conventional ashtrays and are more likely to walk the extra five steps in order to cast their ‘vote’. Ballot Bins are already used in several European countries and proven to reduce cigarette butt litter by 46 per cent,” the organisation noted.

“About 4.5 trillion cigarettes are discarded each year worldwide, making them the most littered item on Earth. Most cigarettes have filters made of non-biodegradable materials, and absorbed within these are thousands of harmful chemicals including arsenic, benzene, hydrogen cyanide, PAHs, pyridine and heavy metals, all toxic to both animals and plants.”

In addition to the bins, Let’s Make Cyprus Green aims to enhance the campaign through eye-catching and thought-provoking anti-littering signs.

“With this campaign, we hope to help prevent fires, unsightly surroundings, marine debris and wildlife endangerment,” Kazelas said.

The organisation is currently seeking individual donations and corporate sponsorships to help accelerate the campaign.

Additionally, it is also seeking local artists or others to cooperate with to reuse/upcycle the cigarette butts collected from the bins.

To make a donation visit www.letsmakecyprusgreen.com or contact the team via email at [email protected]

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