Purcellville, Va., June 20, 2018 –The Town of Purcellville has been awarded a grant from Keep Virginia Beautiful to reduce cigarette litter. This award was made through the organization’s annual “30 Grants in Thirty Days” which are announced daily during the month of June. The Town’s proposal is to reduce cigarette litter by placing cigarette receptacles at the Chapman DeMary Trail and at Fireman’s Field as well as to educate people in these two locations about the hazards of this kind of litter to our environment.
Facts about Cigarette Litter
According to Keep America Beautiful, cigarette butts are the most frequently littered item in the America. Dropping them to the ground, putting them in planters, and disposing of them in waterways is littering. Here are more facts about cigarette litter from Keep America Beautiful:
- Tobacco litter represents nearly 34.4% of all litter in outdoor recreation areas such as picnic areas, hiking trails, parks, etc. decreasing the appeal of these natural areas.
- 32% of litter at storm drains is tobacco products.
- Tobacco products make up 38% of all U.S. roadway litter.
- 95% of cigarette filters are composed of cellulose acetate, a form of plastic that does not quickly degrade and can persist in the environment.
- Filters from tobacco products are harmful to waterways and wildlife. Nearly 80% of marine debris comes from land-based sources. Cigarette butt litter can also pose a hazard to animals and marine life when they mistake filters for food.
Purcellville’s winning proposal stated that there are no disposal containers for cigarette litter at the Chapman DeMary Trail or at the heavily-used sports fields in Purcellville. Studies show that for every ash receptacle, the littering rate for cigarette butts decreases by 9%. Therefore, the Town will use the $750 in grant funds to purchase sturdy outdoor cigarette receptacles and to create and install signage that provides information about properly disposing of cigarette litter and that explains the hazards that cigarette litter poses to the environment.
Government, non-profit, civic and service organizations in Virginia were invited to apply for the Keep Virginia Beautiful grants for $500 to $1,000 describing how they plan to tackle an environmental concern in their community regarding Litter Prevention, Recycling, Cigarette Litter Prevention, or Community Beautification. Since 2011, Keep Virginia Beautiful has provided over $178,000 to fund 230 environmental projects and programs all across the Commonwealth, due to the generosity this year of their partners at Altria and Keep America Beautiful. The mission at Keep Virginia Beautiful is to engage and unite Virginians to improve our natural and scenic environment through five impact areas: Litter Prevention, Waste Reduction, Recycling, Beautification, and Environmental Education. For more information on KVB, go to http://www.KeepVirginiaBeautiful.org.