Friday, 26 May 2017 marked the launch of Whale Coast Conservation’s (WCC) Butt Bin Project. The event, held at the Hermanus Tourism Kiosk above the Old Harbour, saw WCC’s Manager of Communication, Dr Anina Lee unveil its Butt Voting Station aimed at drawing attention to the campaign’s core message of urging smokers in public spaces to dispose of cigarette butts more responsibly.
Following Dr Lee’s demonstration on the voting system, attendees were encouraged to place their butts in the ballot slot of their choice. With more people inclined to vote ‘Yes’ against tough action being taken against litter bugs, it’s anticipated that section would fill up a lot faster than the ‘No’ column. To that end, WCC’s General Manager, Rob Fryer stated: “Soon we’ll be installing a bigger 2m x 300ml transparent tube into which the ‘stompies’ from all the Butt Binns in the area will be placed. The visual display of such a mass build-up of butts will further serve to create heightened awareness of the extent of the problem.”
“Discarded cigarette butts in the environment are a health hazard because they contain toxins which trickle out into the soil, ground water, rivers and sea rather quickly. When this is taken in by animals which are then eaten by other animals and humans, these toxins move along food chains until found in all parts of the food web.
We believe the Butt Bin will help to raise awareness of the problem and its use will help to make our environment a healthier place for us all,” Fryer pointed out.
Local eateries have also come on board to assist the WCC in their quest to beat the butt litter plague. A competition spanning three months until the end of August 2017, will afford participants the chance to win a complimentary meal voucher to the value of R500 courtesy of sponsors LB Seafood Bistro, La Pentola and Burgundy restaurants. More information can be found in the media and the WCC website www.whalecoastconservation.org.za.