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Keep America Beautiful Opens Grant Application Period for Cigarette Litter Prevention Program

The 2018 grant program delivered an average of 62 percent reduction in cigarette butt litter. The deadline for 2019 applications is March 29.

Keep America Beautiful announced the opening of the grant application period for the 2019 Cigarette Litter Prevention Program (CLPP), designed to help communities combat the most commonly littered item in America. 

In 2019, Keep America Beautiful will offer individual merit-based grants in amounts of $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000. Total grant funding is expected to exceed $300,000. Keep America Beautiful community-based affiliates, local governments, business improvement districts, downtown associations, parks and recreation commissions and other organizations dedicated to eradicating litter and beautifying their communities are encouraged to apply.

The deadline for all applications is Friday, March 29. All interested organizations should complete the online application. Grant winners are expected to be announced prior to April 19. In addition, Keep America Beautiful will select a limited number of communities to participate in a new CLPP grant-funded watershed initiative.

Communities implementing the CLPP in 2018 reported an average 62 percent reduction of cigarette litter, even greater than the previous year’s average reduction of 52 percent. Cigarette Litter Prevention Program grant funding empowers communities to help mitigate the economic, environmental and quality-of-life impact of cigarette butt littering.

“Litter is both the smallest and largest problem at the same time,” said Jerred Jones, program director for the CLPP, in a statement. “Keep America Beautiful believes that many of our social ills begin with litter. Access to ash receptacles and portable pocket ashtrays are crucial to changing littering behaviors.”

The CLPP, created by Keep America Beautiful in 2002, is the nation's largest program aimed at eliminating cigarette butt and cigar tip litter. Since its inception, the program has been successfully implemented in more than 1,700 urban, suburban and rural communities nationwide. Over the past decade, participating communities have consistently cut cigarette butt litter by 50 percent based on local measurements taken in the first four months to six months after program implementation.

To address cigarette butt litter, Keep America Beautiful’s Cigarette Litter Prevention Program advocates that communities integrate four proven approaches:

  • Encourage enforcement of litter laws, including cigarette litter.
  • Raise awareness about the issue using public service messages.
  • Place ash receptacles at transition points such as entrances to public buildings.
  • Distribute pocket or portable ashtrays to adult smokers.

Tobacco products, consisting mainly of cigarette butts, are the most littered item in America, representing nearly 38 percent of all items littered, according to "Litter in America," Keep America Beautiful’s landmark 2009 study of litter and littering behavior. 

Research has shown that even self-reported “non-litterers” often don’t consider tossing cigarette butts on the ground to be "littering." Keep America Beautiful has found that cigarette butt litter occurs most often at transition points—areas where a person must stop smoking before proceeding into another area. These include bus stops, entrances to stores and public buildings, the sidewalk areas outside of bars and restaurants, among others. 

The Cigarette Litter Prevention Program is supported by funding from Philip Morris USA, an Altria company; RAI Services Company; and the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company.

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