litter education

Keep Brunswick-Golden Isles Beautiful Executive Director Lea King-Badyna, second from left, along with Katy Smith, center, and Aria Colangelo with UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant discuss litter with Peggy Buchan during a cigarette butt litter campaign co-sponsored by the two organizations Friday at the St. Simons pier.

Keep Golden Isles Beautiful is launching its second annual cigarette litter prevention campaign this month that will involve a wide range of pubs and restaurants.

“We’re trying to encourage people to not dump their cigarette butts on the ground or in the water because they do not biodegrade,” said Lea King-Badyna executive, director of Keep Golden Isles Beautiful. “A lot of people think the cigarette butts are made of cotton.”

Called “This is Litter Too,” the drink coaster outreach campaign is funded by a Keep America Beautiful cigarette litter prevention program grant, the fourth such grant awarded to the local environmental organization.

A joint educational and outreach program with the University of Georgia Marine Extension, Georgia Sea Grant and Keep Golden Isles Beautiful, the campaign involves local pubs and restaurants.

In the past decade, cigarette smoking in America decreased 28 percent, yet cigarette butts remain the most littered item in the U.S. and across the globe, according to information on the Keep America Beautiful website.

The goal of the campaign is to stress that dropping cigarette butts and cigar tips on the ground, or putting them in planters, and disposing of them in waterways, is littering.

“Partnering with local restaurants and pubs allows us to reach a designated audience with important cigarette litter messaging,” said King-Badyna. “This is a true community outreach effort with 28 local establishments joining forces by using 7,000 messaged drink coasters to educate Golden Islanders about cigarette litter.”

The restaurants and pubs are located in Brunswick, St. Mary’s, and on Jekyll and St. Simons islands.

For more information about the campaign, contact the Keep Golden Isles Beautiful offices at info.kbgib@gmail.com or by calling 912-279-1490.

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