Keeping It “Beachy Clean” Means No Butts

Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation Receives Grant to Implement Cigarette Litter Prevention Program at Little Island Park

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

(VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.) – Keep America Beautiful, the nation's iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, has awarded Keep Virginia Beach Beautiful their Cigarette Litter Prevention Program (CLPP) Grant to combat cigarette litter at Little Island Park in Sandbridge.

The grant will be managed by Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation, who received a similar, regional CLPP grant in 2015 for Lake Lawson/Lake Smith Natural Area. The purpose of the project is to create awareness that cigarette butts are the number one littered item in the United States and around the globe, and encourage people to dispose of them in an appropriate receptacle.

As part of the program, Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation, the Virginia Beach Clean Community Commission (VBCCC), and staff from Public Works Waste Management conducted a scan of a small segment of the 144-acre municipal property and collected 510 cigarette butts and 9 cigar tips. Nine free-standing cigarette butt receptacles and signage were placed throughout the park with the goal of educating the public that cigarette butts are litter and to provide a way to properly dispose of them. The cigarette butts collected in the new receptacles will be shipped out to be recycled by a company called Terracycle.

95% of cigarette filters are composed of cellulose acetate, a form of plastic that does not quickly degrade and can persist in the environment, so the department is challenging the community to use appropriate receptacles to help keep our parks clean, green and beautiful! As part of the grant, Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation also has an inventory of both pocket and auto ashtrays available for free for those who are interested. To receive a portable ashtray, park visitors should see a staff member at the park office (must be at least 18-years old.)

The Cigarette Litter Prevention Program, created by Keep America Beautiful in 2002, is the nation's largest program aimed at eliminating cigarette litter. Since its inception, the program has been successfully implemented in more than 1,700 U.S. communities nationwide. Over the past 10 years, it has consistently cut cigarette butt litter by nearly 50 percent based on local community measurements taken in the first four to six months after program implementation. As communities continue to monitor the program, those reductions are sustained or even increased over time.

A follow-up scan will take place in September to determine if cigarette butt litter has decreased at Little Island. For questions about the cigarette litter prevention program, visit VBgov.com/nobutts.

About Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation
Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation strives to promote healthy lifestyles and protect the City's coastal environment, as well as to ensure all residents – regardless of their physical, social and economic circumstances – can access Parks & Recreation programs. The department's vision is to be the national leader in providing enriching and memorable lifelong experiences. Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is accredited by CAPRA, the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association. For more information, visit VBgov.com/parks or call (757) 385-1100 (TTY: 757-711 Virginia Relay). Sign up for Parks & Rec email newsletters at VBgov.com/eNews. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/VBparksrec

About Keep Virginia Beach Beautiful
The Keep Virginia Beach Beautiful Commission is comprised of a member appointed Board of Commissioners representing all areas of the city. An affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and Keep Virginia Beautiful, this organization works in partnership with the City of Virginia Beach Public Works, the Virginia Beach Clean Community Commission, and local community groups. We implement programs for improvement and work together to encourage behavioral changes that result in a cleaner, greener Virginia Beach. For more information, visit www.vbgov.com/wastemgt.

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