Portsmouth City Council, and The Final Straw Foundation are coming together to reduce the littering of cigarette butts at The Hard Interchange with a planned litter pick and campaign launching this November 2023.
The Hard Interchange is the busiest entrance to Portsmouth and greets 9.3 million visitors every year. Both residents and tourists pass through the interchange using the Isle of Wight Catamaran, Gosport Ferry, Portsmouth Harbour train station and the bus station.
Reports of cigarette butt littering have left local organisations no choice but to act and encourage visitors to dispose of their cigarette butts correctly. By keeping the area and surrounding waters free of cigarette butts, we can ensure a safe and inviting environment for anyone passing through.
The litter pick will take place at The Hard Interchange (meeting outside Portsmouth Harbour train station), on Friday 17 November at 10am. This event will be supported by children from Cottage Grove Primary school and local volunteers in light of launching the new behaviour change campaign, Bin your Butt.
The campaign will focus on encouraging all residents and visitors to take responsibility and care of the area, protect their environment and improve the first impression other visitors will have of Portsmouth.
Portsmouth City Council is asking visitors to consider the consequences of littering and to think twice before throwing it in the water or on the ground.
Cllr Dave Ashmore, Cabinet member for Environmental Services said, “Not only are the cigarette butts unpleasant to see, but research has shown that harmful chemicals leaked from littered butts which can be toxic to sea creatures. I am pleased to see action being taken to tackle litter at the Hard Interchange and to keep it that way.”
The campaign launch will also include the placement of ballot bins for cigarette butts. These will feature engaging polls to encourage smokers to put out their butts and vote as they dispose of them.
Bianca Carr, CEO of the Final Straw Foundation, is looking forward to seeing a difference in the littering around The Hard. “Cigarettes are somehow like an invisible litter – a lot of people just don’t seem to think that throwing a butt on the floor is littering. We’ve found that litter like this encourages people to drop more litter, so we are excited that this new campaign will tackle cigarette litter head on and make a positive difference to this busy central area and reduce the amount of smoking-related waste that ends up in the sea.”
Cllr Matthew Winnington, Cabinet member for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care at Portsmouth City Council said, “We already know how detrimental smoking is for our health, but it is important to be reminded of the impact on our environment. I look forward to this campaign encouraging people to think twice about the damage cigarette butts cause, both to us and nature.”
If you would like to take part in the litter pick and contribute to reducing litter in Portsmouth, go to https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/final-straw-foundation/t-moqqlkv
Any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Final Straw Foundation CIO is a registered charity in England that is working with businesses, communities, and schools to raise awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans and land environment. Charity number 1191500.
If you are a Portsmouth resident and would like smoking support. The Wellbeing Service offers free, confidential support to help you quit. You can self-refer at: Stop Smoking – Portsmouth Wellbeing Service (wellbeingportsmouth.co.uk)
Alternatively, you can find advice and guidance to quit smoking here: Quit smoking this Stoptober – Better Health – NHS (www.nhs.uk)