Water Week

EWN Publishing

350,000 cigarette butts a day pour into Port Phillip Bay, following recent smoking laws

Posted by waterweek on 18 September 2007

Sustainability Victoria last month released a report indicating at least 350,000 cigarette butts a day pour into Port Phillip Bay, a figure likely to increase with the new smoking laws, according to The Age (14/7/2007, p. 7).

Catani Gardens trap alone will catch eight tonnes of litter: “The smell almost knocks you over” said Port Phillip mayor Janet Bolitho. “Cigarette butts, syringes, drink botteles, plastic bags, takeaway food packaging, leaves and children’s balls which disappear over the fence and end up down drains.” The council must empty the Catani Gardens trap every month to stop it becoming clogged and causing a flood. That trap alone will catch at least eight tonnes of litter this year. There are some 360 storm water drains emptying into Port Phillip bay.

Recent ban on smoking in pubs and bars a likely cause: From its 31 drains, Port Phillip will pull a staggering 90 tonnes of litter this year. And on 13 July, there was more than the usual amound of cigaretes pulled from the polutant trap – the result, Cr Bolitho said, of recent laws that pushed smokers out of bars and clubs and into the street. “The amount of butt litter seems to have increased following the recent ban on smoking in pubs and bars,” Cr Bolitho said. Cigarette butts constituted around 75 per cent of the litter on St Kilda beach. Melbourne Water is responsible for managing 120 pollutant traps across Melbourne, including 19 in the city centre. It is currently installing one of the traps on the Prahran main drain, which flows out rom below Melbourne High School into the Yarra.

The Age, 14/7/2007, p. 7

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