Wednesday, 15 August 2012

keeping Stratheden tidy - bin the butts campaign?

I came by the Stratheden grounds to check on the areas I'd highlighted recently.  In particular to see how the clean up of cigarette butts was progressing.  There's no doubt that this is a challenging issue.  Not just the removal of piles left long ago but ensuring that more butts are not dropped.

petrol leaf blower/vacuum
I noticed that the area just outside the gate at the back of the IPCU was tidy which was encouraging.  However the area to the back of the shop still had accumulations.  A hoover could be useful, like a leaf blower/vacuum.

The habit of dropping cigarette butts, like the smoking habit, will be difficult to turn around.  But I believe that it can be done and should be done.  It's a matter of respect, in my opinion.  Respect for property and for other people who walk in the grounds and want to see a litter/butt free environment.  

From Falkirk Council website's 'cigarette litter facts':
  • Cigarette ends can take 5 to 12 years to fully biodegrade due to the cellulose acetate they contain 
  • Discarded butts can be harmful to birds and marine life
  • Because they are so small, cigarette butts easily get caught in paving stones and gullies and are therefore difficult to clean away effectively 

I think that a campaign to 'Keep Stratheden Tidy - Bin the Butts!' could be a useful way of highlighting the issue and involving the hospital community in a team effort.  Educational activities around the environmental impact of careless disposal of butts alongside support for stopping smoking.  

The cigarette packets tell us that 'smoking kills' so it makes sense to give people opportunities to take positive action.


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