Dr. Karen Bell
Keep Liberty Beautiful
The campaign Georgia’s Coast is Not an Ashtray has ended, but the efforts will continue. The campaign is a coastwide initiative focused on cigarette litter near bodies of water: the ocean, streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds.
The initiative ran for three months, led by Lea King-Badyna, the director for Keep Golden Isles Beautiful, and a joint task force with six other coastal counties that came together to battle against the nation’s No. 1 most littered item: cigarette butts! Here in Liberty County, we have added to that campaign with a program called Liberty County Proud and Beautiful.
Let me tell you why KLB created this program. It is because cigarette butts are made of cellulose acetate, a type of plastic. Cigarette butts do not readily biodegrade.
Discarded butts have a negative impact as land litter, which is bad enough because wildlife can also mistake them for food and eat them.
Cigarette butts are blown into storm drains or tossed directly into water sources; this toxic litter becomes marine debris, leaking chemicals into our waterways. With coastal Georgia’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the abundance of streams, rivers, lakes, creeks, salt and freshwater marshes, and ponds, cigarette litter can devastate all bodies of water.
To help battle this situation, Keep Liberty Beautiful gets the chance to work with some incredible community partners within Liberty County, such as the Liberty County Board of Commissioners, Liberty County Road & Solid Waste Department, Liberty County Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce on cigarette litter prevention.
Our goal at Keep Liberty Beautiful is to promote awareness and achieve a reduction of cigarette litter in Liberty County and Fort Stewart with the Liberty County Proud and Beautiful program.
Because cigarette butts are so small, some people do not think they are littering. We are working with businesses throughout Liberty County to place a free cigarette butt receptacle in their area.
We then ask the owners to collect and dispose of the cigarette waste properly, or ship them off to be recycled. With the Liberty County Proud and Beautiful cigarette litter prevention program:
• We offer two types of free cigarette waste receptacles: standalone, and wall or pole mounted.
• We place cigarette waste receptacle educational signage and signage in critical locations and distribute pocket and car cigarette butt containers.
• We provide outreach awareness about cigarette litter prevention through radio public service announcements, local and social media promotions, including one-minute educational videos, and unique drink coaster outreach in local restaurants and bar establishments.
We invite all businesses in Liberty County to request a cigarette waste receptacle if they need one, while supplies last.
We are also looking for CLPS, or Cigarette Litter Prevention Squad, volunteers. This group of volunteers will visit businesses, help empty the cigarette waste receptacles, and ship the cigarettes off for recycling.
If you would like to be involved, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (912) 880-4888.
The Rivers Alive cleanups are still going on. The next cleanup is this Saturday, September 24, at Fort Morris State Historic Site from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the countywide Rivers Alive cleanup is on October 22. Contact us at the Keep Liberty Beautiful office or by email for more information.
Please visit our website, keeplibertybeautiful. org, for information on all of our upcoming events.