Keep Lexington Beautiful and Keep Charlotte Beautiful Drastically Decrease Cigarette Litter in Respective Communities

Communities that implemented Keep America Beautiful’s Cigarette Litter Prevention Program (CLPP) in 2016 saw an average reduction of 60 percent in cigarette litter. Two affiliates, Keep Lexington Beautiful (KLB) and Keep Charlotte Beautiful (KCB), were no exception.

Since 2006, Keep America Beautiful has distributed nearly $3 million in grant funding to support implementation of the program in more than 1,700 communities nationwide. Grant recipients are asked to integrate four, proven approaches to end cigarette litter at transition points throughout their local area.

Keep Lexington Beautiful, a CLPP participant since 2011, concentrated on transition points by partnering with downtown bars and restaurants. The Lexington Fayette Urban County Government enacted a smoking ordinance in 2003 which prohibits smoking in any building, establishment or workplace.  Since smoking is prohibited and most smoking areas do not have cigarette urns, heavy cigarette litter around bars and restaurants became an issue. Beyond conducting weekly scans and providing anti-littering materials such as coaster and pocket ashtrays, KLB also invested in TV advertising, TV programming and other social media cost. By installing 40 ash receptacles, KLB was able to decrease cigarette litter by 88 percent within their targeted areas.

“We are so grateful for the opportunity to once again work with Keep America Beautiful, the CLPP grant and all of the participating bars and restaurants,” said Amy Sohner, KLB board chair. “As the results show, by providing cigarette ash cans, Lexington smokers will choose to do the right thing, and we can help keep our local environment clean.”

Similarly, KCB, located in Port Charlotte, Florida, successfully implemented the program and saw a 66 percent decrease in cigarette litter after installing ash receptacles. The affiliate installed four receptacles on the boardwalk for restaurants, namely Hurricane Charley’s. Any additional receptacles were installed throughout the city of Punta Gorda, which generously offered complimentary installation. Keep Charlotte Beautiful distributed bar coasters, pocket and car ash trays to Hurricane Charley’s and TT’s Tikki Hut. Keep Charlotte Beautiful also attended various festivals to educate people about cigarette littering.

The "Guide to Cigarette Litter Prevention" provides information about starting and maintaining a Cigarette Litter Prevention Program in your community, and can be found online at PreventCigaretteLitter.org. View the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program PSA video on Keep America Beautiful’s YouTube channel.