Smokers littering Axminster with cigarette butts

PUBLISHED: 10:36 03 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:21 06 June 2019

The discarded cigarette butts collected from the streets of Axminster. Picture Rebecca Green

The discarded cigarette butts collected from the streets of Axminster. Picture Rebecca Green

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Filter tips are not biodegradable and pose a threat to wildlife, warn campaigners

The discarded cigarette butts collected from the streets of Axminster. Picture Rebecca GreenThe discarded cigarette butts collected from the streets of Axminster. Picture Rebecca Green

Almost 2,000 cigarette butts were removed form the streets of Axminster during a litter pick on Saturday (June 1).

They were collected by some 20 volunteers in less than an hour-and-a-half.

Organised by Plastic Free Axminster, the clean up team also removed several bags of general rubbish, including bottles and cans.

Leader Rebecca Green said: "It's estimated that annually more than 4.5 trillion cigarette butts end up as litter worldwide. These butts are not biodegradable as most cigarette filters contain cellulose acetate - plastic fibers. These pose a significant risk to aquatic life through contamination of our waterways and to land animals through ingestion.

The discarded cigarette butts collected from the streets of Axminster. Picture Rebecca GreenThe discarded cigarette butts collected from the streets of Axminster. Picture Rebecca Green

"It was great to see so many people turn up on Saturday - especially so many children. What we do is purely voluntary, and to have people continually giving up their time for us is amazing. After the litter pick the adults were given free tea or coffee at Far From the Madding Crowd Bakery while the children enjoyed a well-deserved ice cream, courtesy of Le Pisani."

Plastic Free Axminster's next litter pick is on Sunday, June 9, from 10am to 12pm, when members will clear up around the River Axe.

Volunteers should meet outside Axminster Tools & Machinery, Trafalgar Way, at 10am.

A free tea/coffee or soft drink is on offer afterwards to all those taking part at the Axminster Inn.

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