Cigarette butts

Cigarette butts

Zero Waste

Eew, it's YUK

Our installation ‘YUK’ is filled with thousands of butts and highlights the real cost of this type of littering. Worldwide, cigarette butts are the most littered item. The City's street cleaners collect about 15,000 cigarette butts daily. That adds up to millions each year, contributing to significant environmental, social and economic problems.

Rain carries litter and cigarette butts through storm water pipes directly into Sydney Harbour, reducing water quality and harming marine life. Littered butts leach toxic chemicals like lead, cadmium and arsenic into water and soil as they decompose. They are a choking risk to young children and are also 'yukky' to look at. The presence of cigarette butt litter is magnetic – it encourages more littering.

Say something

If you have friends or family who smoke, remind them to throw their butts away responsibly. If you see a smoker dropping a butt, let them know that it has an impact and they should dispose of them responsibly to avoid fines.


Littering a cigarette butt attracts heavy fines, particularly if the cigarette is lit. Smokers can instead carry a portable ashtray, use ashtrays on street litter bins or wall-mounted ashtrays outside shops and offices. Most importantly, make sure your cigarette is extinguished before you put it in an ash tray or bin.


Clean Up AustraliaNSW Environment Protection Authority

Yuk installation

Yuk installation

Last updated: Friday, 4 July 2014