Smokers from around Cape Town are urged to play their part in creating a cleaner and healthier environment by safely disposing of their cigarette butts.The plea was made during the launch of the Unsmoke Awareness Campaign held in St George’s Mall in Cape Town’s central business district on Thursday 26 September.The campaign is in partnership with Philip Morris South Africa (PMSA) – an affiliate of one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, Philip Morris International, the City of Cape Town and the Central City Improvement District (CCID). The day started with a public display of 80kg of cigarette butts collected from across the city earlier in the day. This was the start of raising awareness and making people realise the problem is real. According to the speakers, most butts are found in public spots, either by the call centres or entrances to most workplaces.As part of the campaign, more butt bins will be distributed in places that would be identified as hotspots, and portable bags will also be made available for private use.Marcelo Nico, the managing director at PMSA, says the goal is to encourage a behavioural change.“If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you are a smoker, quitting is the best choice you can make. If you don’t quit, change to a better alternative. In this way, we can unsmoke ourselves, our family, our friends, our city, and our world,” he says.Xanthea Limberg, Mayco member for water and waste, welcomed the initiative saying it is going to play a positive role in finding solutions to the littering problem that affects the city at large. She says keeping the city clean is a shared responsibility. “It’s great to see companies proactively taking the initiative to assist with tackling the broader challenge of litter in our city. The City is happy to have supported this initiative, and encourage others to take similar action,” says Limberg.Tasso Evangelinos, the CCID’s chief executive officer, says it is exciting that the company is joining the fight to keep the CBD and surroundings clean by encouraging smokers to change their behaviour.He says everyone needs to play their part as litter “is an avoidable problem, which costs money to clear”. He says the CCID has already placed 300 cigarette butt bins at hotspots around the CBD, which are cleaned monthly, to address the problem.