No Butts On The Beach
Teignbridge District Council's Resorts Team have launched a new poster campaign aimed at highlighting the problems of unsightly cigarette ends thrown away on sands in Teignmouth and Dawlish Warren.
They spent two hours collecting and counting the cigarette ends which were dropped into a plastic tube.
Total amounts showed 4,863 were picked up on Teignmouth Beach and 3,851 were collected from Dawlish Warren.
The No Butts on the Beach poster campaign is running through the winter months to help highlight the damage cigarette filters can do to the environment.
The campaign comes after on-site resorts teams armed themselves with plastic tubes and did a complete sweep of both beaches to rid them of cigarette ends and make the places more pleasant for residents and visitors.
Both award-winning beaches reach high standards of cleanliness, but sometimes discarded rubbish can cause a problem.
It is hoped the facts and figures will make people stop and think before throwing their cigarettes on the ground.
Cllr Sylvia Russell, Teignbridge District Council's Executive Spokesperson for Tourism, which includes responsibilities for resorts, said: "When people go to our wonderful award-winning beaches; whether that be in high summer season or in winter for a walk - they don't want to find cigarette butts littering the area so the efforts of our staff should be applauded in getting rid of them.
"I was shocked to see the huge number of discarded butts found on our beaches and, like dog fouling, am pleased we are doing something about it."
Apart from the littering, a major issue is the filters.
They are not, as commonly believed, made of paper, but cellulose acetate - a type of plastic that can persist in the environment for years.
Each cigarette butt takes 15 years to biodegrade.
As with many types of marine litter, cigarette ends can be mistaken for food and eaten by marine animals.
If ingested they can leach toxic chemicals, cause inflammation of the animals digestive system and occasionally, if they cause a blockage of the gut, death.
For more information visit: www.teignbridge.gov.uk/leisure