No Butts on the Beach


A Marine Litter campaign

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No Butts on the Beach

The campaign

No Butts On The Beach

Controlling and reducing cigarette waste impacting the coastal environment.

Surfers Against Sewage is calling for better controls of smoking-related waste impacting the beach, coastal and marine environment.

Cigarette butt waste is a significant contributor to the marine litter crisis with thousands often picked up at local beach clean events. Unfortunately, cigarette butts all too often find their way to the coastline through drains or are stubbed out directly in the sand.

Surfers Against Sewage is calling for local authorities to create specific beach smoking zones with effective and well-managed cigarette butt bins, litter control measures & public information to minimise cigarette waste washed onto the beach from the local area. In exceptional circumstances at the most chronically affected beaches localised smoking bans may be the only solution to tackling this source of beach and marine pollution.

Surfers Against Sewage also calls for more public information about the impacts of cigarette but waste, the correct disposal of cigarette butt waste and for smokers to be supported on this journey with adequate and well-positioned ‘coastal ashtrays’, smoking zones and with a wider distribution of portable ashtrays at coastal locations. Surfers Against Sewage will continue to develop and distribute ‘No Butts on the Beach’ information, education materials, stickers and butt bins at outside events wherever possible.

Get involved

How can you help with this campaign…

  • SAS's "No Butts on the Beach" campaign is part of the solution. As with all SAS campaigns, we try to provide a positive, sustainable solution to help people dispose of their butts responsibly ­ the butt bin! The butt bin is designed to let smokers stub out their cigarettes and store them safely and without causing a mess until they can get to a bin. SAS has already given thousands out free at events and with merchandise orders but if you are a smoker or know of a smoker who would use a butt bin to help save wildlife and the marine environment then you can contact SAS for a free butt bin now (while stocks last) or No Butts on the Beach stickers for your beach business. info [at] sas [dot] org [dot] uk (postage and packing costs will apply)

Campaign timeline

Key campaign dates


Campaign launched!

SAS launched the No Butts On The Beach campaign at Sennen beach using up-cycled camera film canisters as pocket ashtrays.


SAS team up with MCS to promote the No Butts On The Beach campaign.

SAS and MCS campaigners join forces with SAS’s giant cigarette butt to raise awareness of the environmental impacts of dropping butts.


5,000 butt bins given out to smokers

SAS always promotes solutions, and in the summer of 2005 gave out 5,000 pocket ashtrays (AKA butt bins) so smokers could dispose of their butts responsibly.


National No Smoking Day beach ashtray action

On National No Smoking day SAS took their giant cigarette butt back to the beach to encourage smokers to dispose of their butts responsibly.


SAS campaigners get Butts Out on Brighton Beach

SAS campaigners teamed up with local Brighton residents on a cheeky demo, raising the awareness of the impacts cigarette butts have on the marine environment.


A further 7,000 butt bins given out to smokers

Again SAS promoting solutions, and in the summer of 2009 gave out a further 7,000 pocket ashtrays (AKA butt bins) so smokers could dispose of their butts responsibly.  This makes 12,000 butt bins given out, for free, so smokers can dispose of their butts responsibly since 2005.


Smoking ban prompts SAS to roll out beach bar and cafe campaign

As smokers were asked to smoke outside, SAS work with hundreds of beachside establishments to ensure they are following the No Butts On The Beach code of conduct; providing and cleaning static butt bins and displaying prominent No Butts On The Beach signage.


SAS call for a smoking bans on beaches

The SAS Marine Litter report calls for smoking zones on beaches, supported by bins and signage and policed with litter wardens.  And at beaches with a chronic cigarette butt issue the Marine Litter Report calls for a smoking ban.