NORFOLK, Virginia – Cigarette litter is no small feat, and with local partners askHRgreen.org is taking a big approach to encourage Hampton Roads residents to stop dropping their butts.
From May 1 to 14, sculptures of cigarette butts larger than life will occupy an important place in the public spaces of the region. Coupled with an offer to provide free cigarette butt containers to businesses in the area, organizers of the #NoButtsAboutIt promotion hope the artwork will convince smokers to keep local landscapes and waterways free from cigarette waste. .
Katie Cullipher, team leader at askHRgreen.org, said, “Cigarette litter is such a huge problem, but it’s such small things that people don’t often think twice about. [we thought] Why not make these cigarette butts on a large scale, distribute them in the community, take them to events and just start the conversation about the cigarette litter?
Constructed from PVC pipe and spray foam insulation, the sculptures on display in the area vary in size, measuring around two to three feet long.
News 3 stopped in front of the exhibit which is set up in the rocks near Nauticus, and many passers-by stopped to view the sculptures and ask questions.
Cullipher said, “Just having this visual juxtaposed with these beautiful spaces that we have here at Hampton Roads helps us make the point that this is a big deal.”
According to Keep America Beautiful, the cigarette letter accounts for 38% of road waste, 32% of storm sewer waste, and 32% of outdoor recreation waste.
“Really, we just want people to understand that cigarette butts are not biodegradable and that their filters contain plastic that is persistent in the environment,” Cullipher said. “They linger, they pose a threat to wildlife and they are a big problem.”
To take further action, askHRGreen.org is also offering 100 free cigarette containers to local businesses.
“We are handing out free standing cigarette waste containers. If a local business wants to do their part and make sure their customers or employees have a safe place to dispose of their cigarette butts, we just encourage them to apply and you can find that information right on our website. “
The giant cigarettes will be on display on the following dates at these locations:
- From May 1 to 7, at:
- Gloucester to Abingdon Park & Ark Park
- Hampton at YH Thomas Community Recreation Center
- Norfolk at Nauticus
- Virginia Beach at the Virginia Beach Convention Center
- May 2-6 in Suffolk at red light on Godwin Boulevard (exit US Route 58 eastbound)
- May 3-6 in Norfolk at the Virginia Zoo
- From May 3 to 7, at:
- Suffolk at VDOT Hampton Roads District Office (7511 Burbage Drive)
- Virginia Beach at the Brock Environmental Center
- May 3-10 in Chesapeake at the Central Library
- May 4-7 in James City County at the JCC Recreation Center
- From May 7 to 14, in:
- Gloucester to Woodville Park and Gloucester Point Beach
- Virginia Beach at the Virginia Aquarium (provisional)