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How 'wildlife gadget man' is turning cigarette butts into cash

PUBLISHED: 05:30 24 October 2019

The Charity Butt Bins aim to avoid litter by raising money for charity when people extinguish their cigarettes Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The Charity Butt Bins aim to avoid litter by raising money for charity when people extinguish their cigarettes Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

An Ipswich environmentalist has launched a new company in a bid to cut cigarette litter in the town while raising money for charity.

Jason Alexander with the tins he has designed for smokers to stub out their cigarettes, which they can then take to a bin  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJason Alexander with the tins he has designed for smokers to stub out their cigarettes, which they can then take to a bin Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Jason Alexander, 48, launched the Charity Butt Bins company after picking up more than 500,000 littered cigarette butts in the town this year alone.

The new bins will see money raised for local charities, increasing in value by the number of cigarettes placed inside the bin.

Mr Alexander, also known as the "Wildlife Gadget Man", hopes businesses across the county and potentially beyond will install the bins in the hope of turning something negative into a positive.

Businesses will be able to choose their own sponsors and charity for each bin, as well as how much money they would like to raise, although the company recommends setting a £20 cap per month.

Mr Alexander said: "The idea with these is to give smokers a nudge to dispose of the cigarette butts properly.

"Businesses and venues who become sponsors have an ideal opportunity to show their commitment to their staff, customers, visitors and the environment as well as helping a local charity. It's a win-win for all involved.

"Becoming a sponsor also offers countless opportunities to share positive messaging in the media and online. It's not only great for brand image it's 'the right thing to do'."

MORE: Environmentalist begins sending thousands of littered cigarettes to tobacco companies

The anti-cigarette crusader made headlines last week after taking the grim task of sending back boxes of thousands of cigarette butts to tobacco companies.

Mr Alexander added: "We're now at just over 500,000 cigarette butts collected, and I know that because I've counted pretty much every single one of them.

"It is not a nice job - it is rather smelly."

Although Mr Alexander is not calling for smoking to be banned, he added he believes companies not taking responsibility for their workforce's litter is "highly likely" to have a growing detrimental effect on their public profile.

He has also launched a "Tin it and Bin it" campaign, which provides small tin ash trays for people to temporarily dispose of their cigarette butts before reaching a bin. It is hoped the metal tins will be odour-proof, allowing smokers to carry them in their pocket or handbag.

More information is available on their website.

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