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Launch of Butt-Free Newmarket Campaign

NEWS RELEASE
MONDAY 18TH DECEMBER


Launch of Butt-Free Newmarket Campaign


Keep New Zealand Beautiful has teamed up with the Newmarket Business Association, Auckland City Council and outdoor ashtray manufacturer, Smokin’ Station to free the city’s premier shopping district of cigarette butt litter in a move which Mayor Dick Hubbard says could be taken up by the rest of Auckland.

The campaign saw the installation of 50 Smokin’ Station heavy duty stainless steel ashtrays in key spots throughout Newmarket overnight on Friday and it is anticipated that the rest of Auckland will follow suit early next year.

Keep New Zealand Beautiful chairman Hon Roger McClay, Auckland Mayor Dick Hubbard and Epsom MP Rodney Hide officially launched the campaign at Mac’s BrewBar, Nuffield Street, Newmarket today.

Mr Hubbard said: ‘This will make a significant difference and I applaud Newmarket for getting on and doing it through a collaborative effort. We’re going to watch this carefully and look at how we can pick it up and extend it to the rest of the city. I am more than happy to advocate that we do.’

Smokin’ Station director Simon Johnston explained: ‘This is a joint venture with the businesses of Newmarket funding 50 units in high use areas and Auckland City Council emptying and cleaning them out of the existing budget. Keep New Zealand Beautiful and Smokin’ Station will contribute to an educational advertising campaign.’

Keep New Zealand Beautiful Chairman Hon Roger McClay added: ‘The only way to overcome this problem is to make people understand that it is a matter of personal responsibility not to litter the streets and allow cigarette butts into our beautiful waterways. With this initiative there’s no longer an excuse that there’s nowhere to put them.’

Since the Smoking Laws of 2003, which forced New Zealand smokers outside, cigarette butt litter has been a steadily mounting problem. Cigarette butts are among the most commonly found rubbish items in New Zealand and are making streets, paths, drains and gardens less and less attractive. The problem is not purely aesthetic. Cigarette butts wash into Auckland harbours on a daily basis, entering into the food chains of fish, birds, whales and other marine creatures who mistake them for food.

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Notes to editors

Smokin’ Station is the only New Zealand company that offers a total outdoor smokers’ service, providing heavy-duty stainless steel ashtrays and a regular emptying and cleaning service. http://www.smokinstation.co.nz/

Keep New Zealand Beautiful (KNZB) is a non profit organisation operating as a charitable trust to promote litter abatement, waste reduction and town and city beautification, setup under the NZ Litter Act 1979. http://www.knzb.org.nz/
Butt Facts

- Cigarette butts are among the most commonly found rubbish items in New Zealand

- Globally approximately 5.2 trillion cigarettes are manufactured every year. In markets where indoor smoking bans have been introduced almost 1 in 3 cigarette butts end up as litter.

- Cigarettes are not biodegradable. Estimates on cigarette biodegradability vary widely from one month to 15 years. According to ZeroWaste, New Zealand, a cigarette butt takes 10-12 years to break down

- Auckland City Council estimates that about 25 million cigarette butts wash into the sea from roads and streams each year

- Almost four billion cigarette butts are disposed in New Zealand each year

- Cigarette filters have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds, whales and other marine creatures which mistake them for food. If filters block their digestive tract, animals may become ill or even starve. Animals will also ingest hazardous compounds such as cadmium, arsenic and lead that have been absorbed by the filters

- Cigarette butt litter dramatically increases where indoor smoking bans are implemented.


ENDS

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