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Smoke Signals

Fri 13 May 2022

Cigarette Ballot Bins given the Vote of Confidence Today, ST PETER PORT DOUZAINE installed Guernsey’s first Cigarette Ballot Bins in town outside Boots the Chemist and at the Albany next to the bus terminus to combat the rising numbers of cigarette butts found littered on the ground.

The bins are unique because each bin has two different sections to allow people to cast a ‘vote’ with their cigarette butt. There is a binary question on the bins with one answer on one side, and the opposing answer on the other side. This encourages people to ‘vote’ for their preferred answer by putting their cigarette butt in their answer’s side. The cigarette butts stack up behind the clear glass front in two columns, showing which answer is more popular.  The results of the ballot will be posted online, and the questions will be updated at regular intervals.

The bins are being brought in to counter the problem of cigarette littering. Cigarette butts are the most littered item in Guernsey despite littering being a criminal offence and liable for a £70 on the spot fine. Cigarette butt litter is a poisonous problem as it can contain lead, arsenic and other chemicals. Tiny, but toxic butts do not biodegrade and those that are not disposed of responsibly litter the town while many are washed out to sea.

The St Peter Port Douzaine hope that by adopting a different approach the problem can be resolved and we can engage with the community along the way.  The Douzaine have received lots of fun and even some thought-provoking questions and we’re looking forward to seeing the responses.

The bins have proven to be successful in other areas as they have reduced cigarette litter by 46% in an independent survey conducted by Keep Britain Tidy and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council*. Hopefully they can do the same in St Peter Port.   *

The bins have their own social media profiles on Facebook ( and Instagram (smoke signals_spp) where the public can see how the results of the ballots and can suggest questions that might be put on the bins.


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