Taking steps to reduce the health impact of tobacco on the community

Published on 10 June 2021

Smoke Free Peninsula - Councillors and Beach Patrol with signs at beach.jpg

Mornington Peninsula Shire, together with local beach patrol, community groups and Peninsula Health, is working hard to make the Peninsula happier, healthier and smoke free.
Cigarette butts are made of plastics which can take up to 10 years to decompose. This year to reduce butt litter in the environment and encourage residents and visitors not to smoke in public areas, we’ll be trialling smoke free areas throughout the Peninsula.
Locations include:

  • Safety Beach Foreshore
  • Mount Eliza Foreshore
  • Rye Foreshore
  • Shire offices in Mornington, Hastings and Rosebud
  • Civic Reserve in Mornington
  • Point Leo Foreshore (Committee of Management)

Smoke free zones will be clearly marked with signage urging people to butt out before entering. Where possible, butt bins or litter bins will be placed at the entrances of the zones.

Beach patrol, community groups and user groups will help the Shire monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the smoke free zones.

The trial will run from May 2021 for a period of six months.

The Shire will be evaluating the trial using butt litter data and community and beach patrol group feedback.

This trial has been made possible due to a combined effort with Mornington Peninsula Shire, Peninsula Health, Safety Beach/Dromana Beach Patrol, Wastewise Peninsula, Belgravia Leisure, Civic Reserve user groups, Josie Jones from The Only Butt campaign, and Point Leo Foreshore Committee.

This is part of the Council’s Mornington Peninsula Smoke Free Environment Policy.

Quotes attributable to Mayor Councillor Despi O’Connor:

“Approximately 7.2 billion cigarettes are littered in Australia each year. Cigarette butts negatively impact on the environment, waterways and wildlife, and make up 48 per cent of all litter counted in Australia.”

“In 2019, around 35,400 cigarette butts were picked up across 16 Mornington Peninsula beaches on Clean up Australia Day.”

“This smoke free zone trial, together with our Mornington Peninsula Smoke Free Environment Policy, Public Health and Wellbeing Plan and Frankston Mornington Peninsula Smoke Free Charter, will help stop second hand smoke exposure, greatly reduce the amount of butt litter, protect our precious environment and reduce the health impact of smoking on our community.”

Photo: Cr Kerri McCafferty with Arlo McCafferty, Mayor Cr Despi O'Connor, Cr Lisa Dixon, Cr Antonella Celi, Lyn Dawes (Safety Beach/Dromana Beach Patrol), Martin Dawes (Safety Beach/Dromana Beach Patrol) and Cr Debra Mar.
(Photographed in March)

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