Town of Surfside Beach Announces Cigarette Litter Prevention Program

National Nonprofit Provides Grant Funding, Resources to Help Surfside Beach Address Cigarette Litter

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (July 10, 2023) –  The Town of Surfside Beach, SC, today announced it has installed 50 new litter stands to collect and recycle cigarette butts throughout the town. This initiative, the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program (CLPP), spearheaded by Keep Surfside Beach Beautiful in conjunction with the Town of Surfside Beach Public Works and PalmettoPride, is part of a $500,000 grant awarded by Keep America Beautiful to over 50 organizations throughout the country. Grants were presented to Keep America Beautiful affiliates, local governments, business improvement districts, downtown associations, parks and recreation commissions, and other organizations dedicated to eradicating litter and beautifying their communities. 

Communities implementing the CLPP in 2019 reported an average of 51 percent reduction of cigarette litter.  

“Here in Surfside Beach, we will focus on cigarette litter reduction through the combination of infrastructure placements (cigarette butt receptables throughout town) and public messaging to educate residents and visitors on the importance of disposing of cigarette butts properly,” says Ellen Delaplane, Chairwoman of Keep Surfside Beach Beautiful. “Our goal is to reduce the most commonly littered item in our community.” 

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. Accordingly, the new receptables in Surfside Beach have been placed at beach accesses, public parks, shops and restaurants. 

“Cigarette Butts are toxic debris that pollute our land and water resources,” says John Adair, Surfside Beach Public Works Director. “They never completely break down, but release microplastics into the ocean in the process. Studies in South Carolina have counted over 6,000 butts in a quarter mile of beach.” 

The butts placed in the receptables will be collected periodically and mailed to Terracycle to be recycled into usable goods and materials such as shipping pallets, park benches, surfboards and more.

The Town will celebrate the launch of the program on Tuesday July 11th with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony  at 5:30pm on the southwest corner of Surfside Drive and Poplar Drive followed by a public presentation at the Town Council Meeting at 6:30pm at the Civic Center.  Both events are open to the public; attendance is highly encouraged. 

“PalmettoPride is pleased to welcome another South Carolina community into the CLPP program,” says Joe Berry, Keep South Carolina Beautiful Affiliate Services and Special Projects Manager. “Congratulations to Surfside Beach for the steps they are taking to help mitigate the economic, environmental, and quality-of-life impact of cigarette littering.”

About the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program (CLPP)

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 1,800 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 These include bus stops, entrances to stores and public buildings, and the sidewalk areas outside of bars and restaurants, among others.     

About Keep Surfside Beach Beautiful (KSBB)

KSBB is the Surfside Beach Beautification and Engagement Committee. It acts as a community engagement organization designed to serve Surfside Beach by promoting and enhancing the beauty and spirit of the town by identifying areas of improvement and engaging community partners, while educating, encouraging and motivating our citizens to become better stewards of its natural resources.



Town of Surfside Beach
Tabitha Mull
Social Media & Events Coordinator

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