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At Village Well we’re currently thinking about the problem of cigarette butts, and how we can reduce butt flicking.

Two not-nice facts: cigarette butts make up about one-third of the one billion items of litter entering Melbourne’s waterways each year and can take up to 15 years to break down.

We are wondering – is it a design issue? Not enough bins? Bins not in the right spot? Is it a behavioural issue – just part of the habit, part of the ritual of smoking? Or is it simply a lack of understanding or awareness of the consequences of this kind of pollution? Perhaps people think cigarette butts are biodegradable?

What do you think? Share your insights with us – or if you’re so inclined – go ahead and dob in a flicker at

This photo is taken from near fitness first at Victoria Gardens, which interestingly has plenty of smoking bins.

Post your comment or let us know about a butt flicking hot spot.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Artemea #

    I don’t want to be rude but I have thought about this more than once. I am starting to think that for a lot of smokers it is a lack of respect. If they don’t respect their bodies enough to not fill them with poison (that they pay high $$ for) – it’s likely they wouldn’t respect the environment. It’s not like there isn’t enough education on the harm of cigarette butts to the waterways – you would have to live under a rock not to be aware of the health issues. And well, if there are cigarette butt bins within sight, its clear they simply just don’t care or don’t equate their personal actions to personal and public harm.

    August 6, 2012
    • Thanks for your comment Artemea. It’s great to know that other people feel strongly about this as well. I wonder if the size of butts were bigger, would people still dispose of them without thinking. You raise an interesting linkage between having respect for oneself and respect for the environment. It would be an interesting concept to test.

      August 6, 2012

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