TTwo thousand cigarette butts.
That's how many are collected from Manly Cove every week by local cleanup group Bommie Australia. That's 10,000 a month! Organiser Jude Furniss said it takes the group just one hour to collect the rubbish.
"It's an absolute disgrace," said Good For Manly president and former Manly Councillor Candy Bingham. "Congratulations to local groups who are working to fix the problem. But it should not be up to them to be responsible for Manly's rubbish collection."
Smoking has been banned from Northern Beaches beaches for years, with Manly the first council to introduce a ban in 2004. But a spokesperson for the newly formed Northern Beaches Council said not a single fine had been issued in that time.
Bommie Australia founder Jude Furniss said the council needed to do more to enforce no smoking areas, but the real solution was for smokers to stop throwing their butts on the ground in the first place.
As well as organising beach cleanup days, Bommie Australia works to educate the community about the toxic effect of cigarette debris on our environment.
Butts ends make an area look ugly and unloved, which often "permits" people to trash it even more.
And when butts end up in the water - either because they were dropped directly on the beach or washed down through the stormwater system - they leach a toxic mix of chemicals, including cadmium, arsenic and lead, into our precious aquatic environmemt.
As well the butts. which can survive in seawater for up to 5 years before breaking down, can be swallowed by marine life, including Little Penguins, with deadly consequences.
"I am disgusted and stunned by people’s blatant littering and disregard for our beautiful surroundings," Ms Furniss said.
"I'm asking smokers to clean up their act and take pride in where they live, work and play."
Good for Manly says it's time for Council to take more serious action. Provide reciprocals for butts in popular areas, fine people who litter and encourage create marketing ideas to get the message across that there is no excuse - bin your butts!
While the areas around Manly are generally clean, cigarette butts continue to be a major problem as they have to be picked-up by hand during clean-up.
Sunday's annual Clean Up Australia Day highlighted what a problem butts have become with 183 butts collected around one seat alone in a non-smoking park!
Has anyone got a creative solution on how we can prevent cigarette butts littering our beaches & parks?
Rubbish overflows on East Esplanade. Photo sourced from Manly Daily.
Residents were repulsed by the overflow of rubbish in public spaces following the Cole Classic on Sunday 5th Feb.
Large numbers of attendees were to blame, as well as a lack of easily accessible bins and neglect in rubbish collection. Over 10, 000 competitors, support crews and visitors participated in the Cole Classic, which was complemented by fine weather.
Embarrassingly, the Manly Daily dubbed Shelly Beach “Smelly beach”.
These concerns are raised in the light of popular events staged in Manly that attract large crowds, such as New Year’s Eve and the Australian Open of Surfing.
The overflow of rubbish also highlights the lack of cigarette receptors attached to the bins, encouraging smokers to simply ‘butt out’ on the ground or worse – in the harbour – putting marine life at risk.
Is it the council’s responsibility to properly address rubbish disposal, or is it more a matter of personal responsibility?
Despite the influx of visitors surrounding the Cole Classic and other major events, residents are calling for more bins and frequent rubbish disposal to help keep our community spik and span.
Concern has also been raised by the installation of bins that block the harbour view from a popular restaurant along East Esplanade Reserve.
The Council has just installed much needed rubbish bins in East Esplanade Reserve - but who decided that a set should be placed right in front of the view of the harbour of one of our most popular restaurants?
This is such poor planning. Locals are also concerned that there is still no receptacle for cigarette butts (except the ground!). This was a Council decision because the reserve is a "non-smoking zone" ... but nobody knows that!
What do you think?
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I have just received a fantastic article written by Johanna Grahn which really highlights the real (and continuing) problem we have with cigarette butts littering & polluting our parks, beaches and water in Manly.
Just strolling from Manly Wharf along East Esplanade she collected 217 butts in 1 hour (and those butts are hard to pick up!). Any ideas how we can change this?
Candy Bingham, Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.