Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Butt busters

May the Butt Force be with you. Australia's largest city, Sydney, has had enough of careless smokers who dispose of their butts in the street.

Coinciding with World No Tobacco Day on Wednesday, a team of 30 plain-clothed rangers were prowling Sydney streets as part of an anti-smoking and litter crackdown.

Nicknamed by local media as "Butt Busters" and the "Butt Force", the rangers have been issuing fines of $A60 (£25) for smokers who dump their butts in the streets instead of in designated bins.

The fine jumps to $A200 for smokers who dump lit cigarettes.

Monica Barone, acting chief executive of the harbourside city, said 45 smokers had been fined in the past week for indiscriminate cigarette littering.

She said more than 15,000 butts were discarded daily in the city in 2005, many of which find their way through stormwater drains into world-famous Sydney Harbour.

"The new hardline approach, which we do not apologise for, is designed to reduce millions of cigarette butts that are littered across the city every day to the detriment of our wonderful waterways," Barone said in a statement.

Officials estimate that about 32 billion butts were discarded inappropriately around Australia in 2005.

Some of those caught in the act were taking the fines on the chin, local media said.

"It's a dirty, rotten habit and I should've put it in the bin," the Daily Telegraph newspaper quoted one unidentified puffer as saying.

2 comments:

yellowdog granny said...

man...you gotta love them aussies...most unapologetic people i know..and i love that about them..damn..wish i was a ozzie down underite..

dom said...

Aussies only have a wicked sense of humour ( and correct spelling) because they were descended from the Brits hahhahahha