“ASTONISHING” video shows how one man has led a campaign to collect more than three quarters of a million cigarette butts in a bid to tidy up Britain.
The footage was shared by Jason Alexander, from Ipswich, Suffolk, who is the brains behind cleanup campaign Blitz the Butt campaign, which ran last week [14-20 Sep].
The campaign encouraged volunteers across the UK to pick up butts and send them to Jason who will eventually recycle them.
The video represents the cumulative efforts of Jason over the past few months, as well as those sent in following the campaign as he attempts to collect one million butts.
He shared a staggering video showing just one third of the total 775,000 collection yesterday morning [Tue] and revealed he personally had managed to collect more than 50,000 butts in his area in just one week.
The clip begins with Jason filming a driveway which is covered with thousands of butts.
He says: “Check this out, this is just some of the cigarette butts I have collected.”
He pans around to reveal yet more butts being stored in plastic boxes, saying: “You can see there’s more in tubs.”
He then zooms in on the mass and whispers: “Look at that, there’s loads of them.”
He pans back out revealing the scale of the problem once more before joking: “And they’re very, very stinky.”
Jason, who runs social enterprise Rubbish Walks, shared the footage to the company’s Facebook page writing: “This is approximately a third of the 775,000 cigarette butts I’ve collected so far.
“All of these will eventually be recycled with FiltraCycle.”
His efforts have stunned social media users.
Daniel Cable-Davey wrote: “Absolutely astonishing.”
Debbie Furze added: “The smell though! I really admire your efforts, well done. Humans are disgusting.”
And Jules Major said: “That smell must be bad. I was a 28 year smoker and never even thought where the butts went, I did always try and put them in the bin as never would throw stuff on the floor but none of us are perfect.
“This is a great campaign though and hopefully it’ll make people more aware of what they are doing as I don’t think people think about it until you see it like this.”
The campaign follows a similar one-day event last year, in which volunteers collected 120,000 cigarette butts.
Jason has previously hit headlines for mailing back discarded cigarette butts to tobacco companies after becoming fed up with seeing them in his area.
Speaking today, Jason, 49, said: “It was really successful. We had people from all across the country joining in and they will eventually all be sent to FiltraCycle to be recycled.
“Honestly, I’m not surprised by the number. I did a beach clean up marathon a few years back and I noticed there was just an abundance of cigarette butts, you’re never more than a few steps away from them.
“You get to know the grot spots where they are most common, pubs, bus stations and shops. You can go out for a long time and not really go very far.
“They are the most common form of litter on the planet, so I just thought why not start there and work your way down.
“They are full of plastics and toxins and people don’t realise every time you litter, it’s potentially an £80 fine.
“It’s just about raising awareness that not only is this going to damage the smoker’s health, but it’s damaging the environment.”