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Warning over dropped cigarettes

PUBLISHED: 15:00 29 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:50 09 March 2010

Charles House, Louise Gooch and Barbara Tottle show off their stubbies.

Charles House, Louise Gooch and Barbara Tottle show off their stubbies.

DROP a cigarette butt and you could be fined £80!

That is the message Ipswich Borough Council is sending out today as it re-launches its campaign to prevent the area becoming one big rubbish bin filled with fag ends.

Charles House, Louise Gooch and Barbara Tottle show off their stubbies.

DROP a cigarette butt and you could be fined £80!

That is the message Ipswich Borough Council is sending out today as it re-launches its campaign to prevent the area becoming one big rubbish bin filled with fag ends.

With the New Year fast approaching, the council's Street Care Clean Up team is hoping that people will resolve to stop smoking and dropping their butts all over the town.

Together with NHS Suffolk, they are giving away 'stubbies', which are plastic contraptions designed to provide people with a safe way to dispose of their cigarette once they finish with it. There is the Stop Smoking phone line printed on each one, so the hope is that every time someone goes out for a cigarette, they can think about quitting.

Anyone caught dropping any kind of litter, from cigarettes to chewing gum, can be given a fixed penalty notice fine of £80 on the spot.

Glynis Wood, StreetCare team leader, said: “The amount of cigarette butts left on the street is concerning. Everyone is forced to go out on the street to smoke now because of the ban so there are more butts around. Some people have good intentions and leave the cigarette butts on top of a bin but then a gust of wind blows it to the ground.

“NHS Suffolk wanted to find a way to get to the smokers. With the stubbies, it is a constant reminder about quitting everytime they have a cigarette. We have given out well over 1,000 of them.

“Chewing gum and cigarette butts are the hardest to pick up and they are not biodegradable.”

The stubbies are foil-lined and lit cigarettes can be put in and extinguished. They can then be sealed and disposed of when the next available bin can be found.

Many hotspots in the town centre are regularly patrolled by Clean Up officers, as many butts can be found where office workers congregate outside to smoke.

Last year the council issued 70 fixed penalty notices as part of their clean-up drive.

If you would like a stubbie, call the Cleaner Ipswich Hotline on 01473 433000. They are also available at area housing offices across town.

What more do you think could be done to clean up the cigarette butts in the town? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk


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