The City of Vancouver is trying out a new way to crack down on litter this spring and summer as they roll out a new pilot project.
Dubbed pocket ashtrays, the new pilot project “reduce cigarette butt litter by putting the solution directly in the hands of smokers.”
The ashtrays will be handed out for free at outreach events or at community centres, libraries and at city hall.
The pocket ashtrays are reusable and city officials hope people will use them to keep their cigarette butts in, empty them when they get to a trash can and then reuse them for their next cigarette.
To reduce harmful cigarette butt litter, we’ve launched the Pocket Ashtray Dispenser pilot. For a list of locations to get one of your own, visit https://t.co/sYOwepSijP #PutWasteInItsPlace pic.twitter.com/4c7yxmhX9P
— City of Vancouver (@CityofVancouver) June 5, 2019
Vancouver Fire and Rescue information officer Jonathan Gormick said “virtually all” outdoor fires in the city are started by discarded smoking materials.
“These fires spread rapidly, and have potentially devastating consequences – we need everyone’s help to eliminate this preventable danger,” he said.
Tourism officials say the butts create aren’t just dangerous, they’re also not appealing to visitors.
“A cleaner public space is a healthier and more inviting place. A city without cigarette butts is good for our environment but also for local businesses that rely on being next to an attractive and vibrant place to attract customers,” said Gwendal Castellan, manager of sustainable destination development for Tourism Vancouver.
Cigarette littering is illegal in Vancouver and can net a fine between $100 or $10,000.