Disgust at 6,000 cigarette butts found near Ipswich Hospital
- Credit: Rubbish Walks
Jason Alexander is on a one man mission to collect one million cigarette butts - and found 6,000 in just two hours on the border of the hospital site in Heath Road last weekend.
The majority of the discarded cigarette butts were found on a path between Ipswich Hospital and Copleston High School.
Mr Alexander said: “Last year I was contacted by a mum who walks up the path by the hospital most days. I went and had a look and couldn’t believe what I saw.”
Since an initial meeting at the hospital to talk about the problem, more bins have been provided at the boundary of the site.
However Mr Alexander says that the amount of discarded cigarette butts is still massive.
He does not blame the hospital for the problem but members of the public and NHS professionals who smoke and leave their cigarette butts on the ground.
Like all NHS sites, Ipswich Hospital has a tobacco-free policy - which means they ask visitors not to smoke anywhere on their site.
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“The policy isn’t working,” Mr Alexander said.
“In an ideal world people follow the rules but we don’t live in a perfect world.
“We need a practical solution and smokers need to take responsibility.”
Nick Chatten, acting director of estates for East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust - which runs Ipswich Hospital - said: “We are saddened by the numbers of cigarette butts being found at the boundary of the site, particularly as there are rubbish bins nearby.
“We do have grounds staff who litter collect in the area but the team’s efforts are spread across the 46-acre site, so unfortunately they cannot clean there every week.
“We have welcomed Jason to come and talk to us to see how we can work together on his environmental campaign.”
Last month Mr Alexander - who is also known as Wildlife Gadget Man - received a Points of Light Award from prime minister Theresa May for his litter picking efforts.
Since he started his #1MillionButts mission, Mr Alexander has collected almost 150,000 cigarette butts - all of which will be recycled.