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Calgary kicks off This is Not an Ashtray campaign

The This is Not an Ashtray van is just one of the tools being used by the city to help advertise the campaign. Josh Ritchie/Global News

The City of Calgary kicked off its #ButtFreeYYC campaign on Tuesday.

The operation will target smokers and provide them with a portable ashtray to help dispose of their cigarette butts.

The city will be using social media, walking billboards and trucks to help advertise for the campaign in an effort to help educate those who might not be aware of the fines and environmental impacts.

READ MORE: Calgary students pick up hundreds of discarded cigarette butts in education campaign

“Even though we do have fines in place, we’re finding that it’s not our strongest tool,” Barb Doyscher said.

“That is why we’re focusing on educating citizens and having them take responsibility for making sure they’re disposing of their litter properly.”

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Bylaw officers will be out and about over the course of the two-week operation, talking to Calgarians and handing out the small red and white pouches that read: “This is an ashtray.”

The cigarette pouch looks to help smokers dispose of their cigarettes properly. The pouch will also put out the light of a cigarette without burning the package. Josh Ritchie/Global News

The pouch has the ability to put out the light of a used cigarette.

READ MORE: Calgary Fire Department reminds smokers to butt out cigarettes properly

Bylaw officers kicked off the campaign by handing out pouches at the Municipal Plaza, which was met with positive first reviews.

“In terms of raising awareness, I think it’s a good idea,” Tom Mirhady said. “You shouldn’t just throw your cigarette butts around.”

The pouch also receiving some mixed reviews.

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“I think it’s brilliant, but I don’t think someone will use it,” Russell Moore said.

READ MORE: Inglewood condo fire caused by poorly discarded smoking materials: Calgary fire

Bylaw officials say while this is an education piece for the city, enforcement will still be used if people are caught littering.

If you’re caught dropping your butts on the sidewalk, you could face fines ranging from $250 to $500, and if you’re seen tossing one out the window while driving, you could be out up to $750.

The This is Not an Ashtray campaign will conclude Sept. 10.

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