A campaign to drive behavioural change among smokers has kicked butt at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, with a decrease in cigarette litter of 71%.
The five game ‘Ditch the Flick’ trial aimed to reduce the amount of cigarette butt litter created around the stadium during events to avoid it ending up in the adjacent Ross River, which runs into the Great Barrier Reef.
Tangaroa Blue Foundation CEO Heidi Tait said the installation of directional signage, cigarette butt bins and designated smoking areas had made a huge impact on smoker behaviour.
“We set out with a target of reducing cigarette butt litter by 50%, and we’ve consistently gone above and beyond that, with a drop of 71% between matches one to five,”Ms Tait said.
“Education is key, and with data showing a steady decrease, from around 2,300 butts collected at the first match trialed, to around 650 by the next match and less than 500 butts by the fifth, we know it’s making an impact,” Ms Tait said.
“Marine debris is a major environmental issue worldwide, and cigarette butts are a huge concern locally, with more than 6,200 cigarette butts removed during 2020 alone, so this sort of initiative is vital to ensuring the long-term health of our Reef.”
Queensland Country Bank Stadium Manager Tom Kimball said the partnership would be extended to the end of the year.
“We’ve been really impressed with the success of the Ditch the Flick trial and we’re pleased to have Tangaroa Blue onboard for the remainder of the year to keep up the good work,” Mr Kimball said.
“In addition to Ditch the Flick, Tangaroa Blue will also be assisting with other waste collection strategies, including plastic poncho collection for recycling and also monitoring the riverbank at the edge of the stadium site for illegal dumping,” he said.
“Being a good neighbour is important to us and we’re committed to finding more sustainable solutions to the way we conduct business as well as educating our fans to help us limit the impact we have on our environment.”
ReefClean is a reef-wide 5-year program funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and delivered by Tangaroa Blue Foundation. It aims to work with partners to remove and reduce marine debris impacting the Great Barrier Reef.
For more information about ReefClean and the Tangaroa Blue Foundation, visit https://www.tangaroablue.org/.
For more information about events at the stadium, visit www.queenslandcountrybankstadium.com.au
Queensland Country Bank Stadium - Michelle.Buckworth@stadiums.qld.gov.au
Tangaroa Blue Foundation- Heidi Tait / CEO / email@example.com