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Keep Liberty Beautiful: Georgia’s coast is not an ashtray
Karen Bell
Keep Liberty Beautiful Executive Director Karen Bell.

Dr. Karen Bell

Keep Liberty Beautiful

I was driving down Highway 84, and the person in the car in front of me threw a cigarette butt out of their car window! I wanted to pull them over and tell them about themselves, but I did not. I took a deep breath and focused on making it home.

 It is funny how people still do not realize that cigarette butts are litter too. June is when Keep Liberty Beautiful and surrounding counties focus on Cigarette Litter Prevention. For the seventh consecutive year, 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, Keep Liberty Beautiful, Keep Savannah Beautiful, Keep McIntosh Beautiful, Keep Camden Beautiful, Keep Pembroke Beautiful, Tybee Clean Beach Volunteers, the City of Tybee Island, University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, and Keep Golden Isles Beautiful have again united in a coast-wide cigarette litter awareness educational initiative: Georgia’s Coast is Not an Ashtray!

During June, July, and August, the campaign will promote cigarette litter prevention awareness, and we are excited to reach our community population with educational information discouraging the littering of cigarette butts.

Made of cellulose acetate, a type of plastic, cigarette butts do not readily biodegrade. Discarded butts have a negative impact as land litter. However, 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 and its abundance of streams, rivers, lakes, creeks, salt and freshwater marshes, and ponds, the coast-wide initiative focuses on cigarette butts concerning bodies of water. Funded by a $6,000 Keep America Beautiful cigarette litter prevention program grant, the latest initiative includes cigarette waste receptacle placement, radio public service announcements, social media/video promotion, educational outreach, and messaged drink coaster outreach.

With the leadership of Lea King-Badyna, the executive director of Keep Golden Isles Beautiful, the combined six-year effort has resulted in over 700 public space receptacles in coastal Georgia. While simultaneous project-specific outreach activities will occur in all six coastal counties during the effort, community-specific outreach activities are also encouraged.

This is the seventh year Keep Liberty Beautiful has been involved with this joint campaign in the battle against the nation’s number one most littered item: cigarette butts. We hope that this Cigarette Litter Prevention project helped spread the message about cigarette litter prevention. We are proud to join forces with the other Georgia Coastal Communities in this campaign to educate the Liberty County community and surrounding areas about cigarette litter!

For more information about Georgia’s Coast is Not an Ashtray program, contact Keep Golden Isles Beautiful at or 912-2791490 or visit the webpage for this project: www.geor-giascoastis-notanash-tray. org. As part of Keep Liberty Beautiful, our mission is to inform our community to take daily green steps towards a cleaner, greener, and more beautiful place. You can participate in this mission by participating in Georgia’s Coast Is Not an Ashtray project. Here are the ways you can help: - You can sign up to help empty receptacles at our local bus stops - Receive free standalone or wall-mounted receptacles for your place of business - Conduct a cleanup in your area - Join the KLB Advisory Board - If you own a restaurant, bar, hotel, or pub, you can use Georgia’s Coast is Not An Ashtray coasters - You can share the information KLB provides, which is a great way to help Please visit the Keep Liberty Beautiful Facebook page, website, www., or contact us at (912) 880-4888 or klcb@libertycountyga. com for more information. Take a Green Step Today!

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