The City of Copenhagen says that discarded cigarettes account for more than four fifths of all the rubbish cleared from the city's streets. In addition to creating unattractive streets, all those butts are also a financial burden. City officials say that each butt costs two kroner to pick up.
Now the city's deputy mayor for environmental affairs wants to make it easier for smokers to discard their cigarettes.
“We haven't been good enough at ensuring that smokers have a place to put their cigarette butts. I'm now going to fix that in cooperation with the restaurant industry, traffic companies and others with interest in having a clean city,” Morten Kabell told Metroxpress.
Kabell said the city will set up an additional 400 ash trays throughout the city and he hopes private bars, restaurants and cafes will follow suit.
Even the national association for smokers, Danmarks Rygerforening, is on board with the clean-up project.
“I'm happy to stand up and say to smokers: Stop provoking nonsmokers even more by throwing your butts on the street. Put out your smoke and then put them in your pocket or a rubbish container,” association chairman Frank Pedersen told Metroxpress.
Pedersen added, however, that the city was engaging in “anti-smoking propaganda” by tallying and announcing the number of cigarette butts found throughout Copenhagen.
According to city officials, the amount of cigarette butts littering Copenhagen has exploded by 71 percent since tougher anti-smoking laws took effect in 2007.