Council introduces cigarette voting bins to tackle litter

New cigarette voting bins are to be introduced by Thanet District Council to raise awareness of the impact cigarette ends have on the environment.

The new bright yellow bins aim to encourage people to bin their butt rather than drop it on the floor and are designed to draw attention by providing smokers with two options to answer a topical question using a cigarette butt to cast a vote. When used in other locations across the UK, the bins have helped cut litter by as much as 46% - particularly when the bin’s question is directed at young males.

Two of the voting bins will appear in various locations across the district. The first question on the bin will be: ‘Who will win the premier league this season? Vote either: Chelsea or Manchester City’.

Cllr Suzanne Brimm, Cabinet Member for Operational Services, launched the bins on Maragte High Street on Friday 11 August. 

The questions on the bins are fully customisable and can be changed regularly, with suggestions for others welcome via:


Cig Voting Bin

Facts about cigarette butts:

  • They are toxic and affect our bathing water quality
  • They can take up to 15 years to decompose/break down

Does it work?

The Ballot Bin has been proven to reduce cigarette butt litter by 46%

How many cigarettes fit in the bin?

Approximately 400 – 600 cigarettes butts

How will this help reduce litter?

Research by environmental organisation, Hubbub, found that litter was mainly generated at night by young men and that cigarette butts were the item most littered. The voting bin was their response to these research findings and builds on proven behaviour change techniques. The bin is a fun game helping to jolt people out of their normal littering routine. It is topical – the questions can be changed as often as we like and can be focused reflecting the interests of the audience we are trying to reach.

Press Office