While we are often focused on our local surroundings, there are bigger plans globally in relation to our actions, with the United Nations Decade of Action establishing a 10-year goal for positive change. Each year the prestigious Banksia Awards recognise a broad range of businesses, organisations and community-driven activities that are aligned with the 17 sustainable development goals encompassing community, economy, environment and partnerships.
The Only Butt campaign is a finalist in the awards’ Community/Charity category. The campaign, which is spearheaded by Josie Jones in partnership with Woolworths, Lions International, Rye Community Action Group and Bendigo Bank, inspires the community to have a voice in making healthier lifestyle choices and encouraging body confidence across all genders.
The campaign combines science, research, statistics and community to adopt a fun psychological approach to reducing cigarette butt litter. It teaches the values of good choices to include self, others, and the environment, creating positive psychological capital and aiming for a #buttfreeaustralia.
With a little cheekiness and some wholehearted education, it encourages Australians to voice how serious they feel about plastic in their environment, and the risks associated with this litter, by making a statement in a creative and inclusive way. Currently working with the CFA on the effects of littering burning butts, the campaign is inspired by the power of the community to create positive change.
Rye CFA 1st Lieutenant Paul Baiguerra says: “Fires from careless cigarette butt disposal are completely avoidable, and we were thrilled that Josie had come up with a way to help get this important message out.”
The Only Butt is a positive approach to close gaps in education around littering of single-use plastic in plague proportions. This campaign draws attention to the fact that 8 billion cigarette butts are littered each year in Australia, with beaches the No.1 rubbished area. The campaign combines cheekiness with education and positive reinforcement of good behaviours.
Josie continues to work with stakeholders to support reusable hand bins on beaches that can empower people to do the right thing with their waste, giving them freedom while also educating and inspiring people to understand the local marine life at risk by heavy littering of butts on beaches.