Keep America Beautiful Announces 2016 Cigarette Litter Prevention Program Grant Recipients, Delivering $240,000 to 42 Organizations; Program Now in 49 States, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Canada

STAMFORD, Conn. (March 30, 2016) – Keep America Beautiful, the national nonprofit that envisions a country where every community is a clean, green and beautiful place to live, today announced an average 52 percent reduction in cigarette litter in communities that implemented its Cigarette Litter Prevention Program in 2015, a 4 percent increase over the 2014 results. The Cigarette Litter Prevention Program, now in its 14th year, is the nation’s largest program aimed at reducing cigarette litter.

Keep America Beautiful also announced that 49 new grants, totaling $240,000, will be distributed to 42 organizations through the 2016 Cigarette Litter Prevention Program. Keep America Beautiful affiliates, local governments, business improvement districts, downtown associations, parks and recreation areas, and other organizations dedicated to ending litter and beautifying communities are receiving grants. Since the establishment of the national initiative, communities in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada have implemented the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program to reduce cigarette litter.

“One of Keep America Beautiful’s primary goals is to end littering in America,” said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Jennifer Jehn. “Keep America Beautiful and our more than 600 affiliates are in the business of behavior-change. Our history proves that we can change behaviors that lead to reducing litter and our impact is particularly evident when it comes to the successful and sustained results of the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program.”

Since its establishment, the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program has consistently cut cigarette butt litter by approximately half based on local measurements taken in the first four months to six months after program implementation.  Survey results also demonstrate that as communities continue to implement and monitor the program those reductions are sustained or even increased over time. Keep America Beautiful has distributed nearly $3 million in grant funding since 2006 to support local implementation of the program in more than 1,500 communities.

Last year, grants provided by Keep America Beautiful through the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program funded implementations across the country in a variety of settings including downtowns, roadways, beaches, parks, marinas, colleges/universities, tourist locations, and at special event locations.

  • The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission in Chesapeake, Virginia, used a 2015 grant to develop a multi-pronged program across multiple Keep America Beautiful community-based affiliates and government agencies in a variety of cities. At the conclusion of the two-season-long project, 42 new ash receptacles were installed and an overall reduction of cigarette litter was measured at 74 percent.
  • Working with a diverse group of community partners, Keep Golden Isles Beautiful in Brunswick, Georgia, focused its efforts on raising awareness as well as installing 12 light pole cigarette waste receptacles and five free-standing units.
  • Keep Ohio Beautiful (KOB) and its partners used its grant funding to focus on education in the Lake Erie area. As a result of its efforts, KOB documented a 58 percent reduction in cigarette litter in the areas that were measured.

Tobacco products, consisting mainly of cigarette butts, are the most littered item in America, representing nearly 38 percent of all items littered, according to “Litter in America,” Keep America Beautiful’s landmark study of litter and littering behavior.

“The Cigarette Litter Prevention Program pursues a multi-faceted behavior-change strategy to combat, and ultimately eliminate, the leading form of litter in America. We applaud our grant recipients for making such significant progress, helping to fulfill our vision of a country where every community is a clean, green and beautiful place to live,” concluded Jehn.

Research has shown that even self-reported “non-litterers” often don’t consider tossing cigarette butts on the ground to be “littering.”  Keep America Beautiful has found that cigarette butt litter occurs most often at transition points—areas where a person must stop smoking before proceeding into another area. These include bus stops, entrances to stores and public buildings, and the sidewalk areas outside of bars and restaurants, among others.

To address cigarette butt litter, Keep America Beautiful’s Cigarette Litter Prevention Program advocates that communities integrate four proven approaches:

  • Encourage enforcement of litter laws, including cigarette litter;
  • Raise awareness about the issue using public service messages;
  • Place ash receptacles at transition points such as entrances to public buildings; and
  • Distribute pocket or portable ashtrays to adult smokers.

The “Guide to Cigarette Litter Prevention” provides information about starting and maintaining a Cigarette Litter Prevention Program in your community, and can be found online at View the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program PSA video on Keep America Beautiful’s YouTube channel.

The Cigarette Litter Prevention Program is supported by funding from Philip Morris USA, an Altria company; RAI Services Company; and the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company.

About Keep America Beautiful
At Keep America Beautiful, we want to ensure that beauty is our lasting signature. A leading national nonprofit, Keep America Beautiful inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. We envision a country where every community is a clean, green, and beautiful place to live. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful provides the expertise, programs and resources to help people end littering in America, improve recycling in America, and beautify America’s communities. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 community-based Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. To learn how you can donate or take action, visit Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, like us on Facebook, or view us on YouTube.


2016 Cigarette Litter Prevention Program Grant Recipients

City Center Partnership Inc., SCKeep Kingsport Beautiful, TN
Clean Virginia Waterways, Longwood University, VAKeep Lewisville Beautiful, TX
Downtown Boston BID, MAKeep Lexington Beautiful, KY
Harrisburg Downtown Improvement District, PAKeep Liberty Beautiful, GA
I Love A Clean San Diego, CAKeep the Midlands Beautiful, SC
Isla Vista Recreation & Park District, CAKeep New Orleans Beautiful, LA
KAB of Nash & Edgecombe Counties, NCKeep Ohio Beautiful
Keep Alachua County Beautiful, FLKeep Pennsylvania Beautiful 
Keep Beatrice Beautiful, NEKeep Prince William Beautiful, VA
Keep Brunswick Beautiful, NCKeep Southwest Virginia Beautiful
Keep Charlotte Beautiful, NCKeep Tampa Bay Beautiful, FL
Keep Charlotte Beautiful, FLKeep Tennessee Beautiful
Keep Chatsworth-Murray Beautiful, GAKeep Van Buren Beautiful, AR
Keep Chester County Beautiful, TNKeep Virginia Beautiful
Keep Clarksdale Beautiful, MSMidtown Sacramento Business Association, CA
Keep Coffee County Beautiful, TNOKC Beautiful, OK
Keep Corinth-Alcorn Beautiful, MSOperation Green Team, AL
Keep Fremont Beautiful, NEPacifica Beach Coalition, CA
Keep Golden Isles Beautiful, GAPittsburgh Downtown Partnership, PA
Keep Hamilton Clean and Green, ONTSan Mateo County, CA
Keep Keith County Beautiful, NEShark Stewards – Earth Island Institute, CA