North Vancouver mayor pushes plan for cigarette butt deposit
Smokers would pay a deposit on cigarette packs which would then be refunded when the butts are returned
The mayor of the City of North Vancouver is calling for action against discarded cigarette butts on city streets.
Darrell Mussatto says smokers would pay an extra five cents per cigarette in a pack, which would be returned once they bring the butts back — along with the specially marked cigarette pack — to a designated depot.
"It would encourage people not throw their cigarette butts away, but actually put them back in the package they had after they put them out, or they can carry their own little container," said Mussatto.
The program would have to be legislated by the province, so Mussatto is hoping to rally support for the idea with other municipal leaders at the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities meeting in September.
Under the proposal the cigarette packs would be marked by the manufacturer in order to limit the refund program to products sold only in B.C.
A similar program was proposed by a group in Vancouver's West End in 2013.
Mussatto says since people don't smoke inside much these days, many discard their butts on the streets, and those butts eventually end up in local waterways and the ocean.
That's why next month he also plans to ask Metro Vancouver to study how the butts may be affecting local fish.