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Belfast tackles its butt problem

Around 50,000 cigarette butts are being collected each week from outside Belfast businesses that have banned smoking.

Many of these come from the front of offices, with Brighter Belfast chairman councillor Peter OReilly and Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce president Dave Pennick taking to the streets with brushes and shovels to highlight the problem recently.

An official no smoking ban will come into effect next year, but the fact that some businesses have implemented this ruling early has led to unforeseen problems.

OReilly said: Many businesses now operate a no smoking policy, which is commendable; however it is having a real impact on the state of our streets. Staff are moving outside to smoke and in some cases simply throwing their butt on the ground.

Over 50,000 cigarette butts are cleaned from our citys streets each week simply because people are not disposing of their cigarette litter properly, in the bin.

As part of its broader anti-littler campaign, the Butt its not it? initiative is highlighting to business owners and chief executives of companies that their staff are contributing to the litter problem.

Pennick said: While the improvements in our city centre are plain for all to see, some issues still remain. I am disappointed that businesses and the private and public sector continue to allow their staff to smoke cigarettes at the entrance to their premises. The result is at best unprofessional and the litter, cigarette butts an eyesore.

Much has been done by Belfast City Centre Management Company to promote the use of Butt Bins. But these are often not being managed by the businesses who install them. I would urge businesses to take responsibility for the mess/litter created by their employees.


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