Pocket ashtrays for smokers to reduce street litter

Free personal pocket ashtrays are being handed out to smokers to encourage residents to do their bit to help carry the borough from clean to pristine.

In a bid to stop people dropping their cigarette butts on the ground, Kingston Council handed out free personal pocket ashtrays to smokers in Kingston Town Centre on Thursday 8 October.

The move is part of the Council’s ‘Cleaner Kingston’ campaign to encourage residents to do their bit to help carry the borough from clean to pristine. It coincides with an enforcement trial that has seen dedicated enforcement officers handing out on-the-spot fines of between £80 and £100 for people caught dropping litter or not cleaning up after their dogs. The trial runs until December.

Councillor Terry Paton, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Environment at Kingston Council said:

“We are providing smokers with these free pocket sized personal ashtrays, which allow them to safely store their cigarette butts until they find a bin, making it easier for them to do the right thing.

“In the four months since the enforcement trial started, our dedicated enforcement officers have handed out 819 on-the-spot fines. Over 90 per cent of those fines have been given to people dropping their cigarette butts. We’d like to bring that down to zero.

“It would seem that people who wouldn’t dream of dropping a crisp or sweet packet on the ground, drop their cigarette butt without thinking. The fact of the matter is that a cigarette butt is litter, is equally as damaging to the environment and substantially adds to the Council’s street cleaning costs.

“Kingston Council currently spends £2 million a year cleaning up litter, dog foul and other mess in the borough. By playing their part in keeping the borough’s streets clean, residents and visitors can help to see that money better spent on vital services.”

Personal ashtrays will also be handed out in Tolworth, New Malden and Surbiton on Thursday 15 October.