Keep Britain Tidy Cigarette Butts

 We were asked by Keep Britain Tidy to make giant models of cigarette butts to place into a tank at Sea Life Manchester for a photo shoot to launch their latest campaign #BinTheButt to stamp out cigarette litter, which causes significant damage to marine life.

What we had to do

There were a few challenges to this project, we had to be sure that what we created didn’t poison the marine life in the tanks and also that the cigarette butts we made were heavy enough to stay at the bottom of the aquarium and not float away.

So how did we do it?

We knew that to weight the props we would have to fill them with something heavy and so decided on sand, however, after some research we discovered that sand bought from a store has elements in it that is dangerous to marine life, so we researched pebbles, but found that these too weren’t ideal. The obvious choice therefore was stones used to decorate aquariums. Because the cigarettes were 1 metre high, and there were 3 of them, each one took a lot of stones to fill but at least we knew that they would be heavy enough to stay at the bottom of the giant aquarium. Once painted, we coated the cigarettes with a water proof lacquer and sent them off 3 days early so that hey could be bleached prior to going underwater with the sharks and giant turtles.

The result

The client loved the props and hopefully they helped to raise awareness in the fight against litter and the devastating effect it can have on our wildlife. Check out the YouTube video with our cigarette butts underwater: 

What our client said

“The props arrived perfectly and they looked great – thank you for making them so swiftly for us”

Nicola Boon, Marketing Manager, Keep Britain Tidy