New surveys find Iowa governments annually spend 13-and-a-half million dollars picking up litter and two-thirds of the trash comes from smokers and snackers. “Keep Iowa Beautiful” executive director Gerald Schnept says the surveys show most Iowans feel throwing out a single item, like a cigarette butt, isn’t a problem, but multiply that single butt by a million, and he says you’ve got a problem. Schnept says it’s time for Iowans to pick up after themselves rather than have government spend 13-and-a-half million tidying up.A Des Moines firm studied 150 sites around the state and analyzed the trash and Schnept says it’s the first survey of its kind in the country to identify the brands of items which were discarded, not to go after the companies, but to devise anti-littering marketing campaigns that’ll target the typical litterer.Schnept says the average litterer is a “Bud Light drinkin’, Snickers eatin’, Mountain Dew drinkin’ kind of individual.” But 37 percent of all litter comes from tobacco products. Fast food and snacks account for another third of the litter..The “Keep Iowa Beautiful” coalition suggests the 35-dollar penalty for littering in Iowa isn’t enough, and is critical of law enforcement for not going after litterers.
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