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Copenhagen takes action to reduce cigarette litter

Copenhagen takes action to reduce cigarette litter

Portable ashtrays can be picked up from the capital’s cafes and borrowed from newly-installed stands on beaches

The Danish capital of Copenhagen has recently launched several initiatives to reduce pollution caused by cigarettes. While many may believe that cigarette butts are made of paper, they primarily consist of plastic. Therefore, when smokers carelessly toss their cigarettes aside, they are significantly harming the environment.

Understanding the damage that is caused by this form of litter, the City of Copenhagen has taken action to prevent it. On 21 July, the capital announced that it has supplied 300 cafes with free pocket ashtrays for cigarette butts. This was revealed on the municipality’s Facebook page where the city explains that the small bags allow smokers to dispose of their cigarettes in a way that does not pollute nature and the city’s streets.

The portable ashtrays can be picked up from the capital's cafes 
(Source: City of Copenhagen on Facebook)

As such, smokers are encouraged to visit the city’s cafes and to pick up a portable ashtray that they can use for the disposal of litter. These bags can then be emptied, carried around, and reused. What is more, they do not emit any smell and are easy to use and transport.

Reducing litter on the beach

Last week, the Danish capital launched another similar initiative to decrease litter caused by cigarettes on beaches. Now, stands with ashtrays have been installed in Amager Strandpark and at Svanemøllen Beach. Smokers are thus urged to borrow an ashtray from the stand and use it instead of throwing their cigarette butts on the sand or in the water.

The portable ashtray can be borrowed from stands on the beach
(Source: City of Copenhagen on Facebook)

The ashtrays are in the shape of cones, allowing beachgoers to pin them in the sand and ensure that they do not move. After borrowing these items, smokers must empty their contents into a trash can before leaving them back on the stand for others to use.

With these small but significant initiatives, the City of Copenhagen is working on eradicating the damage caused by microplastics and other harmful substances found in cigarettes.

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