Where there’s smokers, there’s fires (SA)
2 December 2014
South Australians are being warned of the dangers of littering cigarette butts this bushfire season.
Keep Australia Beautiful has issued the warning as the weather bureau predicted a warmer than normal summer season across most of the country and there was a current high to very high fire danger for much of the state.
Keep Australia Beautiful Chief Executive Officer Peter McLean said it was no secret cigarette butts are public enemy number one when it comes to littering.
“More than seven billion butts are discarded in Australia each year. If placed end to end they would extend 144,000 kilometres and circle the planet 3.6 times,” Mr McLean said.
“Nationally, thousands of fires a year are caused by cigarettes and smokers’ materials.
“Cigarette butts account for the most amount of rubbish found along our state’s highways.
“Not only are drivers who flick their cigarette butts out the window polluting the environment, they’re also potentially causing dangerous bushfires. You may have a licence to drive, but you don’t have a licence to litter.’’
The Keep Australia Beautiful National Litter Index 2013/14 recently revealed the number of cigarette butts found in South Australia is 17 butts per 1,000m².
“I’ve had a lit cigarette hit me in the face that was flicked out of a car window before; people are just not getting the message,” Mr McLean said.
According to KESAB there is currently no ‘dob in a litterer’ scheme in place in South Australia for people to report such offences.
KESAB is currently on the state government working group to implement a ‘dob in a litterer’ type program.
Media contact: Zoe Russell, Sequel PR – (07) 3251 8142 / 0403 090 911
About Keep Australia Beautiful: Keep Australia Beautiful is the national peak body on litter prevention. With more than four decades of experience in engaging Australians to care for their local environments, (not to be confused with Clean Up Australia Day) KAB Programs include Sustainable Cities, Tidy Towns, Clean Beaches, National Litter Index, Eco-Schools, Adopt a Patch, and Keep Australia Beautiful Week in August.
The KAB National website is www.kab.org.au where all information on the organisation can be accessed including the National Litter Index, which is Australia’s only independent nation-wide litter research.