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Grants Awarded for Cigarette Litter Prevention
Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, has announced the awarding of grant funding to 42 communities as part of its Cigarette Litter Prevention Program. In addition, new marketing resources will be unveiled later this spring to help grant recipients and participating organizations spread the word in the fight to combat cigarette litter, the leading form of litter in America.
New grants from Keep America Beautiful, totaling $295,000, will be distributed to 42 organizations through the 2018 Cigarette Litter Prevention Program. Keep America Beautiful affiliates, local governments, business improvement districts, downtown associations, parks and recreation areas, and other organizations dedicated to ending litter and beautifying communities are receiving grants. Since the establishment of the national initiative, communities in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada have implemented the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program to reduce cigarette litter. Throughout its history, the program has helped reduce cigarette litter in the communities in which it has been implemented by an average of 50 percent.
“The 2018 grant recipients are charged with moving the program forward to help educate and inspire smokers to do the right thing,” says Helen Lowman, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. “The new marketing assets, which any community can localize and use, will enable affiliates, local governments, and other community groups to teach adult smokers about the negative impacts related to littering and the role they can play in improving their community.”
Since its establishment over 16 years ago, the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program has consistently cut cigarette butt litter by approximately half based on local measurements taken in the first four months to six months after program implementation. Survey results also demonstrate that as communities continue to implement and monitor the program those reductions are sustained or even increased over time. Keep America Beautiful has distributed over $3 million in grant funding to support local implementation of the program in more than 1,700 communities nationwide.
Last year, Cigarette Litter Prevention Program grants provided by Keep America Beautiful funded implementations across the country in a variety of settings including downtowns, roadways, beaches, parks, marinas, colleges/universities, tourist locations, and at special event locations. In addition, Keep America Beautiful piloted a new type of ash receptacle in partnership with UK-based Hubbub, known as the Ballot Bin, to fight litter. The bins were found to be successful forms of behavior change with some pilot sites showing as much as 83 percent reduction in cigarette litter.
To address cigarette butt litter, Keep America Beautiful’s Cigarette Litter Prevention Program advocates that communities integrate four proven approaches:
- Encourage enforcement of litter laws, including cigarette litter;
- Raise awareness about the issue using public service messages;
- Place ash receptacles at transition points such as entrances to public buildings; and
- Distribute pocket or portable ashtrays to adult smokers.
The Cigarette Litter Prevention Program is supported by funding from Philip Morris USA, an Altria company; RAI Services Company; and the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company.