WATCH: Smokers Urged To Part In The ‘Butt Ballot Bin’ Poll On The Mall

Posted by


Mayor of Tralee Cllr Graham Spring with Cara Keane and Shane O’Connor of GLAN Tralee launching the new ‘Butt Ballot Bin’ initiative on The Mall on Friday. Photo by Dermot Crean

CIGARETTE butts account for nearly 50% of all litter on the streets of towns and cities across Ireland but a new project aimed at encouraging smokers to put their butts in a bin has been launched in Tralee.

Tralee Chamber Alliance’s Environmental Task Force through the Glan Initiative and in partnership with Kerry County Council has erected a Butt Ballot Bin on the Mall.

It was launched by the Mayor of Tralee, Cllr Graham Spring, Shane O’Connor from the Environmental Task Force and Cara Keane, the Glan Tralee Program Manager.

Continued below…


The question on the first Butt Ballot Bin, which was erected on the Mall in Tralee, has asked smokers who they would like to see as Ireland’s next President – Michael D Higgins or someone else. The question will be changed in the next few weeks.

Shane O’Connor, a volunteer with Tralee’s Environmental Task Force, said: “Each bin displays a topical question with two possible answers and smokers vote by dropping their cigarette butt into the slot underneath their preferred answer. Over time the butts pile up showing which answer is the most popular. The bins use the ‘nudge’ theory behaviour-change approach and are a fun way to get people engaged in putting cigarette butts in a bin. The questions on the bins will be changed regularly and will be a mixture of humorous and topical questions. As Irish people and more especially as Kerry people we have an opinion on everything and we like to have our opinion heard and we are hoping that this urge will be too strong to for smokers to ignore. From now on in Tralee every butt matters!”

While the ultimate solution is for smokers to kick the habit, the Environmental Task Force hopes that Kerry County Council will erect a number of Butt Ballot Bins around Tralee to help remove a major cause of litter in the town.

Continued below…


Cllr Graham Spring, said: “There’s a perception that because of the small size of a cigarette butt, people don’t see it as littering when they drop it on the street. We need to break that cycle and change people’s behaviour so that they see their cigarette butt as litter and dispose of it correctly. It’s not uncommon to see someone walking down the street flick their cigarette butt on the ground and then turn and throw their empty coffee cup in the bin. That person understands what litter is but doesn’t see their cigarette butt as litter.”

Tralee Chamber Alliance is inviting local businesses (members and non-members) to engage with the Steering Group with a view to working on similar projects over the coming months. To join Tralee Chamber Alliance, contact or call 066 7121472.

Comments are closed.