Ci­garette butts Auck­land’s most lit­tered item

Auckland City Harbour News - - SITUATIONS VACANT - SHANI WIL­LIAMS

Auck­land Coun­cil re­ceives more than one lit­ter­ing com­plaint a day, with ci­garette butts be­ing the city’s most lit­tered item.

In the last 12 months lit­ter­ing was re­ported 550 times with ci­garette butts ac­count­ing for more than a quar­ter of com­plaints.

Of the 550 com­plaints Auck- land Coun­cil re­ceived, only 34 re­sulted in fines - with 29 of these for ci­garette butts.

Peo­ple caught lit­ter­ing items less than 1 litre in weight, such as ci­garette butts, face a $100 fine.

Auck­land Coun­cil waste so­lu­tions gen­eral man­ager Ian Stup­ple said re­port­ing an in­ci­dent doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily lead to find­ing an of­fender.

Ci­garette butts were of­ten lit­tered from mov­ing ve­hi­cles, mak­ing of­fend­ers dif­fi­cult to track down, he said.

Keep New Zealand Beau­ti­ful (KNZB) gen­eral man­ager Jodie Stu­art said in New Zealand more than 6 mil­lion ci­garette butts were lit­tered each year.

Stu­art said since changes to the Smoke­free En­vi­ron­ment Act banned in­door smok­ing there had been a sig­nif­i­cant jump in ci­garette butt lit­ter.

Stu­art said Auck­land needed to adopt a waste re­duc­tion plan.

‘‘Ci­garette butts end up in our wa­ter­ways and en­ter the food chains of fish, birds and other ma­rine life. We be­lieve this is a sig­nif­i­cant is­sue that needs to be ad­dressed.’’

KOREN ALLPRESS/STUFF

More than 6 mil­lion ci­garette butts are dis­carded into New Zealand’s en­vi­ron­ment each year.

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