Keep Charleston Beautiful sets sights on cigarette butt litter

Image by Flickr user multisanti

Keep Charleston Beautiful will take part in a national program, the Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Program, to reduce the impact of cigarette butt litter. Keep Charleston Beautiful will target cigarette butt litter on the City’s Municipal Golf Course with a program called “Golfers Fore a Cleaner Green”.

The Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Program tackles the issue by integrating four proven approaches:

  • encouraging enforcement of litter laws, including cigarette litter
  • raising awareness about the issue using public service messages
  • placing ash receptacles at transition points such as near entrances to public buildings
  • and distributing pocket ashtrays to adult smokers.

“Golfers who smoke tend to discard their cigarette butts around the greens and tee boxes. This not only causes unsightly conditions, it adversely affects the playability of the course. We hope that this program will serve as a springboard for other programs that will help keep our course free of debris” said Golf Course Manager Herb Whetsell.

“Keep Charleston Beautiful is installing ash receptacles in the golf carts and along the course. Pocket ashtrays will be provided to those golfers who choose to walk.” said project leader, Jennifer Scales. “Using these products along with an awareness/education campaign to bring attention to the issue, our goal is to see a noticeable drop in cigarette related litter on and around the golf course.”

The initial scan of seven areas on the Municipal Golf Course resulted in the collection of 761 cigarette butts. A volunteer Task Force composed of golfers, community members, and Keep Charleston Beautiful Board members will conduct scans which will count and collect cigarette butts over the next year to assess the progress of the new Cigarette Litter Prevention Program.

National nonprofit Keep America Beautiful has field-tested and expanded the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program since 2003, funded by Philip Morris USA, an Altria company, with additional support from RAI Services Company. Information about starting and maintaining a community Cigarette Litter Prevention Program is available online. The “Guide to Cigarette Litter Prevention” can be accessed through the Keep America Beautiful Web site or directly at

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