Cigarette ends harm birds, says councillor

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MORE than 20 fines have been given out by a council for dropping litter, it has been revealed.

It comes as the councillor leading a campaign by Havant Borough Council – called No Ifs, No Butts – has explained the authority’s reasoning behind a scheme to stop smokers dropping cigarette ends on the ground.

Councillor David Collins, who oversees environment in Havant borough, said: ‘The council has ongoing campaigns for all types of litter and has issued 24 fixed penalty notices for littering offences so far this year.

‘This type of litter is also harmful to birds and is difficult to clean away effectively as cigarette ends are easily caught in paving stones and gullies.

‘The council doesn’t have a policy of heavy-handed prosecution. It feels that changing people’s behaviour is a better policy.’

Research recently carried out by Keep Britain Tidy highlighting that cigarette litter is now the UK’s biggest litter problem and can be found on almost four fifths of 78 our streets.

As reported, earlier this year Havant bus station was branded ‘a giant ashtray’ by one resident as so many cigarette butts could be seen.

The council has said the highway area is cleaned by the environmental team at least twice a day, often more.

People who are seen dropping butts – which can take up to 12 years to biodegrade – could be issued a fixed penalty notice for £75.