The Ballot Bin is a customisable ashtray, proven to reduce cigarette butt litter by up to 73%.

Each Ballot Bin displays a question and two answers. Smokers vote by putting their cigarette butt in the slots underneath their preferred answer. The litter stacks up behind the clear glass front in two columns, showing which answer is more popular.

The questions can be easily changed by the Ballot Bin owner. They can be funny, topical, provocative – whatever works for your audience.

Studies show that proposals to decrease cigarette butt pollution have been largely ineffective, with cigarette butts consistently being the single most collected item in beach clean-ups and litter surveys.

Smokers find the Ballot Bins much more engaging than alternative ashtrays and are more likely to use them. Independent evaluation shows the Ballot Bin reduces cigarette butt litter by 73%.

A Poisonous Problem

Cigarette litter on the floor

Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter in the world, with an estimated 4.5 trillion cigarette butts thrown away every year.1

Cigarette filters are made from cellulose acetate, a type of plastic that can take up to 13 years to break down.2

Butts not only leak harmful toxins into the environment, young children and wildlife are also at risk from ingesting them.

In fact, they are the greatest single source of marine litter, ranking even higher than plastic bags and straws, and have been commonly found in the stomachs of fish, birds, whales and other marine creatures.3

The Ballot Bin seeks to tackle this problem, with independent evaluation showing that the Ballot Bin reduces cigarette butt litter by 73%.


1 van Schalkwyk, Novotny, McKee (2019). No more butts. BMJ, 367:15890.

Joly, & Coulis. (2018). Comparison of cellulose vs. plastic cigarette filter decomposition under distinct disposal environments. Waste Management, 72, 349-353.



“We have even seen people coming up and picking cigarette butts off the floor and put it in the bin to cast their votes.”
— Nick, Creative Engagement Manager, Arcola Theatre
“The Ballot Bin uses the nudging behaviour change approach and is a fun way to get people engaged in putting butts in a bin rather than just stubbing them out on the floor ... We were able to reach 9 million people via Twitter during the first week of our campaign.”
— Philip Robinson, CEO, Keep Australia Beautiful
“It’s just a great way to tackle cigarette litter. When we put it on social media the response was incredible. It got so much praise from councillors, the public, media –right across the board.”
— Alison Dewey, BID Manager, Southend BID.


The bin weighs 9.3 kilos, please exercise care while lifting and carrying it.

The ashtray features an easily changeable question plate. Write with the magnetic letters provided, a dry-wipe marker or print out our question template and slot in a sheet of A4 paper.

A voting system encourages use of the ashtray; users vote by simply dropping their cigarette butt into one of the two bins. The black aluminium stub panel minimises tobacco stains.

The ashtray is secured by two high quality cam latch locks on the side.

Once unlocked, the bins can be removed for emptying and cleaning using one hand and the sign can be changed or updated.

The ashtray can be mounted to a pole with the fixing provided, or even directly onto a wall. We also sell fixings to mount it onto railings.

The Ballot Bin is designed to resist rust. It has an anti-rust primer coat and all seams and sharp edges and are welded, ground and rounded, which reduces the areas in which rust can form.

The glass is bonded in to make it very difficult to break.
The packaging is made from recycled card and is 100% recyclable. Included in your order:

  • Ballot Bin ashtray

  • Mount for pole (rail fixings can be ordered at an additional £17)

  • 200 magnetic letters (English alphabet)

  • Dry-wipe marker pen

  • Key

  • Instruction leafletstarter pack



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