Members of the Coastal Warriors Mid North Coast are fighting hard to combat the crisis of cigarette butt litter but president Meegs Stephens says it's an issue which unfortunately continues to prevail.
"We never see the number of butts being littered fluctuate downwards," she said.
The Coastal Warriors will host a Butt Blitz on Saturday, December 7 between 8am until 11am.
Community members and businesses are invited to join in the effort, to help keep the region pristine and litter free.
Meegs said cigarette butts are not only the most littered item in the Port Macquarie-Hastings region but around the world.
She said cigarettes are lined with microfibre plastics, which breaks down, is washed down drains and leads to the ocean via the sewer system.
The Coastal Warriors are pushing the message littering is a major environmental problem, with devastating consequences for the world's inhabitants.
Meegs said the members of the group are trying to work out ways to address the issue, where many contextual factors come into play.
The hot spots for cigarette butt litter, Meegs said tend to be in zones which have been designated smoke-free by the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.
Meegs said the Coastal Warriors are working with council in an attempt to implement cigarette butt bins in the locations where they have found the most litter.
From speaking to people, Meegs said there is a complacency when it comes to littering cigarette butts.
"I talked to people at the beach and they said they weren't conscious of littering, as it was a habit," she said.
"We also find a lot of butts right next to the red rubbish bin, as people don't want to accidentally ignite the bin by placing their butt in them."
The Coastal Warriors are calling for heightened policing to crack down on the litter issue.
"The same as you would receive a parking fine, you should receive one for littering," Meegs said.
Ultimately, Meegs said it's up to the individual to ensure they are being responsible in keeping the environment clean.
She said people can take their butt with them by keeping a disposable butt bin in their car, or placing the butt in their pocket.
Last year in December, 14 members of the Coastal Warriors collected over 8000 cigarette butts in just two hours.
On Saturday, December 7 members of the Coastal Warriors will be set up on Town Green, near the Port Macquarie CWA hall.
People are asked to bring a hat and drink bottle. Attendees will be supplied with equipment for the clean up.
For more information about the group or the event, people can visit the Coastal Warriors Facebook page.
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