Calls to ban smoking in cars in bid to stub out the scourge of cigarette butts
The smoking ban in enclosed public places has simply moved the problem elsewhere, and has led to one company calling on tighter restrictions on smoking, including inside cars
A leading waste management company now says that cigarette butts and associated litter in now reaching epidemic proportions in some areas as smokers simply dump their waste in the street.
Calling for harsher penalties against offenders – especially drivers who throw lit cigarettes from car windows – BusinessWaste.co.uk says that cigarette-related littering now makes up nearly half of all waste cleared from the nation’s streets.
″The ban has been in place for some time now, but there’s been little or no action on this problem,″ said BusinessWaste.co.uk ‘s Commercial Manager Mark Hall, ″And worse – the dangers of tobacco waste go largely unreported.″
According to latest figures released by the government
• Up to 40% of all street litter is smoking related
• Up to 122 tonnes of smoking-related litter is dropped every day
• After the introduction of smoke-free legislation, cigarette litter rose by 43%
• It costs £342million annually to clean up after smokers
″Those figures tell their own story,″ said Mark, ″But this doesn’t even address the fire risk caused by cigarette butts thrown from car windows, nor does it mention the public health risks behind used cigarettes.″
BusinessWaste.co.uk points to the build-up of toxins that remain in the millions of butts discarded everyday. While these poisons are largely filtered out before the smoker breathes them in, they’re still present in the butts themselves.
″Dumped in streets, parks and roadside verges, these toxins get into waterways, soil and poison animals. We’re slowly poisoning the country with cigarette butts.
″We’re calling for tougher penalties for inconsiderate smokers.″
BusinessWaste.co.uk calls for:
• A ban on smoking in cars and other vehicles. Drivers who smoke at the wheel should be ruled to be ‘without due care and attention’
• Increased on-the-spot fines for littering that involves smoking waste
• Greater incentives for companies who provide better-than-adequate smokers’ bins
″With pack prices currently nudging the eight pound mark, smokers just aren’t put off by £60 spot fines for littering,″ said Mr Hall.
″This country’s got far better things to spend £342million on. Let’s make cigarette littering a thing of the past.″
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