A city based on tourism, military installations, agriculture, and home to the first landing of Jamestown colonists, Virginia Beach boasts 28 miles of coastline along the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. Comparable to other beaches worldwide, the utter volume of visitors has taken its toll on the city, resulting in unsightly destruction and pollution. It is not unusual to read or hear about marine animals dying from eating or being trapped by waste that is deposited into oceans, or how oil spills are harmful to marine mammals, birds, and fish; yet somehow, it is uncommon to come upon the mentioning of butt litter, the most frequently littered item on Earth. Cigarette butts are strewn about the Virginia Beach boardwalk, resort strip, and the beach. In 2014, Clean Virginia Waterways collected more than 47,600 butts along streams, rivers, bays, and coastlines (CVW, 2015). With no smoking restrictions on the beach (or boardwalk,) tourists and local beachgoers alike frequently discard their butts on the sand and face no known consequences. Small but mighty, both smoked and unsmoked butts have severe impacts on waterways, economies, air quality, and public health. An economic analysis found that cities the size of San Francisco spend, on average, between $500,000 and $6 million annually to keep their beaches, streets, and parks clear of cigarette litter (Schneider et al., 2011).
This paper examines strategies to:
1. Drastically reduce butt litter within the city - Disposable/pocket ashtrays, additional butt/ash receptacles. 2. Increase community awareness on the economic impacts of litter - Organized cleanups, advertisements /marketing, partnerships with local NGOs.
3. Enhance citations and alternative penalties for those who discard their butts on the sand.
Additionally, this paper aims to discuss the potential implementation of a beach-wide smoking ban.
Included in this item (2)