Photo courtesy of Middlewich Guardian
Approximately 5 tonnes of smoking-related litter: cigarette stubs, matchsticks and packets are discarded every day in the UK. Middlewich Clean Team has joined forces with Japan Tobacco International UK (JTI) a leading tobacco manufacturer, The Campaign to protect Rural England (CPRE) and Liz McGuinness of Middlewich Pubwatch in a bid to reduce cigarette litter in the town. As a result 34 cigarette stub bins have now been installed outside pubs and other businesses in Middlewich as part of a pilot study.

JTI has funded the wall-mounted bins which have been installed outside pubs following talks with Liz McGuiness, chair of the Pubwatch scheme. As part of Stop the Drop, the national anti-litter campaign. CPRE and JTI, who have centres in Cheshire, chose Middlewich to pilot the scheme.

Paul Williams, Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications at JTI UK, has said, “JTI and the Campaign to Protect Rural England understand the need to make it easier for existing adult smokers to dispose of their cigarette butts responsibly without impacting the surrounding environment. JTI is delighted to be working with our partners at CPRE to support the Middlewich Clean Team in its efforts to keep the beautiful town of Middlewich tidy!”

The success of the cigarette bins, which have been purchased from Bailey Streetscene, depends on smokers using them and official measurements will take place to track their use for 6 months after their placement. As Janet Chisholm, Middlewich Clean Team Chairperson has pointed out: “There’s no point putting stub out bins where there’s no footfall. We wanted the bins installed where people congregate which is why they are outside pubs. We believe it is vital that all members of our community are aware the impact litter has on our environment. Cigarette butts are dirty and have no place in our ethos – which is to live in a clean and litter free town. If we can encourage cigarette smokers to use the bins provided that would be a step in the right direction.”

Samantha Harding, Stop the Drop Campaign Manager at the Campaign to Protect Rural England has commented, “In the fight against litter, providing more bins and encouraging people to use them is one of the great solutions. With JTI’s direct support, the Middlewich Clean Team can continue its mission to keep the town clean. Now there’s no excuse for the people of Middlewich to be dropping their cigarette butts!”