IT IS hard not to notice the cigarette butts that pile up on Airlie Beach foreshore.
But they are not only unsightly, they also pose real hazards to our marine environment.
That is why Airlie Beach resident, Suzy Gordon, is launching her campaign No Butts on our Beach.
The first Butt Pick-up day will be on the Airlie Beach foreshore this Sunday.
Volunteers are urged to arrive on the beach at 9am and help remove as many of the accumulated butts as they can.
Then the butts will be counted and recorded before being taken to Cannonvale transfer station.
“It's an opportunity to make a real impact on how we take responsibility for our environment as a community,” said Suzy.
“It also means people can have a fun, active day out and make a very visible difference for everyone in the town to enjoy.”
According to Suzy, there are many successful campaigns across the country to prevent cigarette butt littering.
Yet butts still represent about 50 per cent of the total litter dropped in Australia today.
“There is a tendency to think that because they're so small, cigarette butts don't pose too much of an environmental risk,” Suzy said.
“But if we all knew that butts are made of plastic, take years to deteriorate, and contain toxic chemicals that leak into our oceans in large quantities, we'd soon see a drop in the numbers of butts on our beaches.
“If we all knew that butts dropped on the street get washed down stormwater drains and straight into the sea, where they poison turtles and dolphins, we'd be asking for butt bins to be installed not just on our beaches, but outside all the bars, restaurants and clubs on the main street.
“And that would be just for starters,” she said.
As part of the No Butts on our Beach campaign, Suzy will also be at the Lions Saturday markets collecting expressions of interest towards getting butt-bins installed in Airlie Beach.
People can sign a letter that will be sent to the Queensland State Government asking that these bins be made available.
Volunteers on Sunday will also get a t-shirt, portable ash-tray, cap and long-life bag.
If your business would like to offer support or you want to join the volunteers for the Butt Pick-up on Sunday August 15, contact Suzy at email@example.com or 0438 343 559.
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