The City of Port Phillip has taken a bold step to change the popular belief that Bay beaches are just dirty big ashtrays. They’re the first municipality on Port Phillip Bay to ban cigarette smoking and glass on beaches. The new regulations take effect on December 1, 2010.
Cigarette butts were the most common litter item recorded in Baykeeper litter surveys conducted in March & April this year in the City of Port Phillip. Litter (and data) was collected from a range of sites: from the high tide line, middle of the beach, back of the beach, adjacent parkland, and a waterway flowing to the Bay. Butts were common in all areas.
The Elwood Canal survey was conducted on a 20m stretch of Canal bank, just over 1 km from the coast. The high number of butts (125) at this location confirms the role of stormwater system in flushing butts from inland streets to the Bay. No doubt some will use this fact to grizzle about the smoking on beaches ban. But perhaps it’s a conversation we have to have for people (particularly children) to decide that, for so many reasons, cigarettes are a just not worth it.
Baykeeeper plans repeat surveys at the same locations in March-April 2011. Anyone willing to help will be very welcome.