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A study by anti-litter charity TIDY Northern Ireland found that smoking-related litter outside pubs, restaurants and public buildings have risen by 33 per cent since the smoking ban was introduced on April 30th.

What’s more, a separate survey by the charity discovered that the majority of people blame the increase on businesses not providing facilities for smokers to dispose of their waste.

“Cigarette butts are one of the most harmful forms of litter, and if we don’t take steps to reduce the amounts on our town and city streets then it will continue to rise – in fact, in many areas it is already at unacceptable levels,” TIDY Northern Ireland chief executive Ian Cole said.

“There are too many premises with insufficient butt bins or ashtrays outside, leaving smokers with little option but to discard their butts on the street.

“While the smoker obviously has a responsibility not to litter, he has to get some help in the form of bins or ashtrays if we are to witness an improvement in the cigarette related litter levels. At the moment the problem is getter worse, not better.”

A recent study by Irish Business Against Litter found that the levels of litter in Dublin were putting businesses off operating in the city.

James Cooper

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