Bin Your Butt

Michael Aspinall with large cigarette butt Oversized cigarette butt and Keep Australia Beautiful flag
Can you see me now? About 710 million butts are littered across Western Australia each year.

Keep Australia Beautiful WA’s Chairman Michael Aspinall launched the 2019 Bin Your Butt campaign on 28 August, to target one of the State’s most littered items, cigarette butts.

The campaign messaging reminds smokers that flicking or dropping cigarette butts is littering and offenders will face fines.

In 2017–18, the National Litter Index (NLI) statistics in Western Australia found that a third of all litter found was cigarette butts and packaging. Of the 9,550 items counted in the NLI, 3,376 of those were cigarette butts/packaging.

Fines for littering

Under the Litter Act 1979, anyone incorrectly disposing of a cigarette butt can be fined $200.  This includes flicking cigarettes from a vehicle and stubbing out and leaving butts in public areas such as footpaths, roads and gutters.

If the butt was still lit when dropped, it can lead to a $500 fine.

What effect do discarded butts have on the environment?

Each year in Western Australia, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services attends around 700 fires due to discarded lit cigarette butts.

Cigarette butts are made from non-biodegradable plastic which can take up to 15 years to break down.

Butts washed into stormwater drains and waterways leach toxic chemicals such as cadmium, lead and zinc.

Cigarette butts are commonly mistaken for food by marine life and have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds, sea turtles and other marine creatures.

What can you do to help?

Smokers are reminded to dispose of cigarette butts responsibly into waste bins, or risk being fined.

People can also register to become a KABC litter reporter. This scheme registered its 15,000th reporter in August 2019 and ­ issued 2,295 litter infringements last year.

Elements of the campaign

Audio visual clips (social and online) 

Digital billboards

Flicking your cigarette butt is littering. Up to $500 fine.

Bush shelter (Ad Shel)

Lit cigarette butts cause 100s of fires in WA each year

Bus backs

Dropping a cigarette butt is littering. Bin Your Butt.

Facebook advertising

You can be fined up to $500 for littering. Bin Your Butt. Keep Australia beautiful.