New paper ashtrays unveiled to tackle cigarette litter on BCP beaches

Bournemouth Beach <i>(Image: PA/Pixabay)</i>
Bournemouth Beach (Image: PA/Pixabay)

A CAMPAIGN group is introducing a new type of ashtray to help reduce cigarette litter across the conurbation’s beaches.

Litter Free Dorset will launch the brand-new ‘Buttholders’ at the start of the summer holidays as part of its 2023 ‘Love Your Beach’ project.

These portable ashtrays have been designed to help reduce the number of cigarettes stubbed straight into the sand by smokers on the beach.

They have also been printed on seaweed paper by Notpla – a company creating sustainable packaging solutions from seaweed and plants that disappear naturally.

Bournemouth Echo: Buttholders by Litter Free Dorset
Bournemouth Echo: Buttholders by Litter Free Dorset

Buttholders by Litter Free Dorset (Image: Litter Free Dorset)

In a 2021 Hubbub survey in Bournemouth, more than 48,000 cigarette butts were mapped using drone technology at locations including the beach and Lower Gardens in just one month.

Emma Teasdale, Litter Free Dorset coordinator, said: “Cigarette butts are a huge problem across our beaches and there is still a lack of knowledge about the environmental impact of cigarette litter.

"Cigarette butts contain micro plastics and leach toxins such as formaldehyde, nicotine, arsenic, lead, mercury, and chromium into the ground and our waterways. Just one butt can pollute 1000 litres of water.”

The ‘Love Your Beach’ Buttholder project will be rolled out at Whitley Lake, Shore Road, Branksome Chine and Canford Cliffs beaches.

It is set to receive additional support from BCP council with the relocation of cigarette ballot bins at each of these locations.

Litter Free Dorset is hosting two pop-up beach events on Wednesday, July 26, from 12-4pm at Branksome Chine Beach and from 5-7pm at Whitley Lake where it will be distributing the new Buttholders.

RNLI lifeguards on the beach and BCP beachfront catering outlets will also be assisting in handing out the free Buttholders over the summer.

Andrew Brown, BCP Council seafront operations manager, said: “This initiative from Litter Free Dorset which has the potential to reduce the amount of cigarette butts discarded on our beaches, is a positive step in combating this issue and I encourage everyone to collect a Buttholder from the relevant places issuing them during the trial and use it throughout the day, then dispose of it in the bins along the promenade or take it home and dispose of it there."