Keep Van Buren Beautiful is one of 50 recipients nationwide of a Keep America Beautiful grant that is part of the national organization’s 2019 Cigarette Litter Prevention Program.

The grant will help KVBB in its ongoing effort to reduce cigarette litter in Van Buren.

“We are very happy that we will receive another grant from KAB for our Cigarette Litter Prevention Program,” said KVBB Director John Pope. “This program has reduced the litter from cigarette butts down on Main Street by 80 percent over the years from when we first started the program. Plus, we have donated urns to the city, the Van Buren Police Department and the Van Buren Public Library.”

Keep America Beautiful is providing individual merit-based grants, totaling more than $300,000, in amounts of $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500 to 50 organizations throughout the country.

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 CLPP. Throughout its history, the program has helped reduce cigarette litter in the communities in which it has been implemented by an average of 50 percent.

Communities implementing the CLPP in 2018 reported an average 62 percent reduction of cigarette litter, even greater than the previous year’s average reduction of 52 percent.
Cigarette Litter Prevention Program grant funding empowers communities to help mitigate the economic, environmental and quality-of-life impact of cigarette butt littering in their communities.

“Litter is both the smallest and largest problem at the same time,” said Jerred Jones, program director for the CLPP. “Keep America Beautiful believes that many of our social ills begin with litter. Access to ash receptacles and portable pocket ashtrays are crucial to changing littering behaviors.”

The CLPP, created by Keep America Beautiful in 2002, is the nation’s largest program aimed at eliminating cigarette butt and cigar tip litter.

Since its inception, the program has been successfully implemented in more than 1,800 urban, suburban and rural communities nationwide.

Over the past decade, participating communities have consistently cut cigarette butt litter by 50 percent based on local measurements taken in the first four months to six months after program implementation.