Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world.

According to research by the nonprofit organization, Keep America Beautiful, most people who smoke don’t consider cigarette butts to be litter—but they are.

Cigarette butts are unsightly and adversely affect tourism, which is the lifeblood of our historic city.

Not only are cigarette butts a blight when disposed of on our city streets, they also pollute our Rappahannock River after they wash into city storm drains. Cigarette butts are 95 percent plastic and take years to break down in the environment. They never fully biodegrade. They choke fish and other wildlife who mistake them for food.

The commission asks residents and visitors to put their “butts in the bucket.” In partnership with the city Public Works Department, we provide sand-filled buckets in front of many downtown businesses and in other strategic locations around the city as an alternative to disposal on the street.

Our annual "Butts are Litter, Too” campaign this year is Oct. 29 through Nov. 6, beginning with a citywide litter cleanup the morning of Oct. 29. You can volunteer to participate in the cleanup by signing up at:

Robert T. Courtnage


Courtnage is the chair of the Fredericksburg Clean and Green Commission.

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