ANTI-LITTER campaigners in Dorchester are setting a shining example to other towns in the fight against cigarette butts.

The town’s Stop the Drop team has now overseen the installation of more than 70 cigarette butt bins and are offering advice on rolling out the scheme to others.

Representatives from cigarette company Japan Tobacco International (JTI) and the national Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) visited Dorchester to find out more about Stop the Drops efforts as they look to introduce a similar scheme in other areas of the country. Stop The Drop campaigners Bob Kerr and Felicity McLaren have been putting in hundreds of hours visiting 70 different organisations and writing to 27 head offices.

And after two years, their efforts paid off. Mr Kerr said: “Instead of putting up with cigarette litter we are now lighting up the way forward with a message of hope for everyone who hates litterbugs ruining our streets.

“In Dorchester we found practically no suitable provision for the safe disposal of cigarette ends.

“They littered the pavements and streets in their thousands every day.”

The campaign has been supported by the Dorset branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, which donated £500 to the cause.

Some £250 was given by Dorchester Town Council, with £500 from the Dorchester Business Improvement District. (BID). West Dorset District Council has arranged for refuse teams to empty the butt bins.

Mr Kerr added: “This was the icing on the cake which enabled us to offer all businesses a package deal that made sense.

“The smoking ban resulted in up to 25 tonnes of extra cigarette rubbish being dumped on Britain’s streets every day.”

Some 47 organisations within the BID area bought a total of 69 bins and every pub agreed to have at least one bin installed.

Four bins were also sold outside the area.

After learning about the Dorchester campaign Nicholas Harris, from JTI, hailed the Stop the Drop team as ‘pioneers’ who were setting an example for other towns to follow.

CPRE campaign manager Samantha Harding said: “We feel Bob’s campaign has the potential to be replicated elsewhere.”