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Cigarette litter prevention effort underway in coastal Georgia
cigarette litter

Entities in Georgia’s six coastal counties are continuing a joint battle against the nation’s number one most littered item: cigarette butts. Providing comprehensive coverage of Georgia’s coastal area, Tybee Clean Beach Volunteers, the City of Tybee Island, Keep Savannah Beautiful, Keep McIntosh Beautiful, Keep Camden Beautiful, UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, Keep Golden Isles Beautiful, Keep Liberty Beautiful, Ogeechee Riverkeeper, Fort McCallister State Park and Crooked River State Park have again united in a coast-wide cigarette litter awareness educational initiative: Georgia’s Coast is Not an Ashtray.

Made of cellulose acetate, a type of plastic, cigarette butts do not easily biodegrade.  Discarded butts have a negative impact as land litter, but once blown into storm drains or tossed directly into water sources, this toxic litter becomes marine debris, leaching chemicals into marine and aquatic environments and potentially being ingested by those inhabitants. With coastal Georgia’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean as well as its abundance of streams, rivers, lakes, creeks, salt and freshwater marshes and ponds, the coast-wide initiative focuses on cigarette butts in relation to water bodies.

Funded by a $10,000 Keep America Beautiful cigarette litter prevention program grant, the latest initiative consists of cigarette waste receptacle placement, radio public service announcements, social media/video promotion, educational outreach, drink coaster outreach and pocket/car ash tray distribution. The combined two-year effort results in a total of 142 public space receptacles placed in coastal Georgia.

While simultaneous project-specific outreach activities will occur in all six coastal counties during the effort, community-specific outreach activities are encouraged as well.

“Here at Keep Liberty Beautiful we cannot believe that this is our second year we get to work with the six surrounding coastal counties on spreading the message about Cigarette Litter Prevention,” said Keep Liberty Beautiful Executive Director Karen Bell. “We are excited that with the grant from Keep America Beautiful, we can provide awareness information, drink coasters, stickers, t-shirts, and cigarette waste receptacles to any business, church, restaurant, or club house that wishes to partner with us.  All cigarette butts collected will be recycled to keep them off the ground and out of our water!” 

For more Georgia’s Coast is Not an Ashtray program info, contact: Keep Liberty Beautiful, or 912-880-4888 or log onto

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