Cigarette Litter Prevention Program
Boaters are keeping their butts out of the water - and we’re not talking about the kind in swim trunks. In just the past four years the BoatUS Foundation has helped nearly 200 marinas around the country tackle the problem of cigarette litter.
The program is a partnership with Keep America Beautiful, a nationwide non-profit organization that encourages individuals to take greater responsibility for improving the environment in their local community. With funding from Phillip Morris USA – an Altria Company, RAI Services Company and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, Keep America Beautiful provides each marina with a $500 cash grant to purchase the cigarette ash receptacles and signage and a supply of portable ashtrays for use on boats. Marinas are asked to install the receptacles, distribute the portable ashtrays, and educate their customers about the importance of proper disposal.
Many assume cigarette butts break down over time. However, most cigarette filters are made from a plastic-like material, cellulose acetate. When tossed overboard or washed into storm drains, creeks and waterways this material can last for decades harming fish and other wildlife.
Marina operators also like the program because it keeps their grounds clean, making the marina more attractive. Once the butt receptacles are in place, customers embrace the program. We had some participating marinas say that the amount of cigarette butts is now almost nonexistent, which helps their business and the environment.
Participants in last year’s cigarette litter prevention program achieved an amazing 50% average reduction in the amount of cigarette litter, which ultimately would have ended up in the water.
If you would like to be notified when application for the program open, please signup for our e-newsletter.