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Free cigarette stub pouches to help fight littering

07 December 2022 : Council news, Community, Environment

Environmental enforcement officers patrolling the district as part of the Council’s litter enforcement trial are giving away pouches to encourage people to dispose of their cigarette butts responsibly.

The 12-month trial which supports Somerset West and Taunton’s Litter Strategy to help clean up the district and change attitudes towards littering, is being carried out in partnership with EH Commercial Services (EHCS).

Under the agreement, enforcement officers are able to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for littering, which is an offence under Section 87(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and includes discarding cigarette butts.

SWT and EHCS have 500 ‘stub store’ pouches to give away to allow smokers to dispose of cigarette butts on the go and help reduce the amount of cigarette litter in our streets and open spaces.

The pouches are small, lightweight and reusable with a fireproof lining to extinguish cigarettes which can then be disposed of at home or in waste bins.

Environmental Enforcement Officers will give the pouches out to offenders to tackle the problem at source and help change their behaviour in the future. Some will also be available to collect at the Deane House Hub in Taunton.

According to Keep Britain Tidy research, smoking related litter is the most prevalent form of litter in England, making up 68% of all littered items and found on around 80% of surveyed sites.

Cllr Andy Sully, Executive Member for Environmental Services, said: “These statistics reflect our experience in the trial so far with the majority of fixed penalty notices being issued to people dropping cigarette butts, many of them who weren’t aware it was an offence.

“The aim of the trial is to educate and change behaviour, and where we are seeing the most need for this is in relation to cigarette butts being dropped.

“Supplying these pouches, free of charge, will allow smokers to dispose of cigarette butts responsibly and endorses our ongoing pledge to reduce litter within the district.”