Used cigarette butts on an ashtray. Public domain photo via CDC/ Debora Cartagena.
Used cigarette butts on an ashtray. Public domain photo via CDC/ Debora Cartagena.

Hoping to cut down on the proliferation of cigarette butt litter, the city of Long Beach Friday introduced an outreach campaign enlisting the help of restaurants, bars and other businesses to encourage people to properly dispose of their used smokes.

Thirty-three businesses along the city’s Broadway corridor have already signed up for the “Can Your Butts” campaign, which provides participants with posters, pocket ashtrays and cigarette waste receptacles.

“Cigarette litter has a negative impact on Long Beach businesses, tourism and ecosystem,” Mayor Robert Garcia said. “By educating businesses and providing resources to dispose of cigarette butts we are cutting down on litter and also improving the quality of life for our city’s residents.”

According to the city, cigarette butts and other tobacco products make up more than one-third of the litter found on U.S. roadways, beaches and waterways. The butts can be dangerous to the environment because they are not biodegradable and can leach toxic chemicals, city officials said.

As part of the program, the city is urging businesses citywide to provide cigarette waste receptacles, noting that each receptacle can decrease the littering rate by as much as 9 percent.

More information is available at www.litterfreelb.com.

—City News Service

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