Designed by creative agency, Folke, for the City of Sydney, the clear 3D acrylic wordform has been partially filled with discarded cigarette butts – representing a very small portion of what is collected from Sydney’s city streets and parks each week.

The Yuk installation was designed to stop people littering the environment and from throwing their unwanted cigarette butts to the ground. At 2 x 5 metres in size, the installation is making a not-so-subtle statement to city-goers on their daily commute.

“Every day our cleansing crews sweep up around 15,000 butts from the streets and footpaths,” Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said. “Many thousands more are washed into our harbour and waterways where they do serious environmental damage. Discarded butts leach toxic elements such as cadmium, lead and arsenic into water and soil as they decompose.”

The campaign includes the installation in Hyde Park and two citylight displays in CBD locations. The city’s 480 rubbish bins in the city centre have ashtrays and the city has given out more than 200 wall-mounted ashtrays for building owners to install where smokers gather.

City cleansing and waste trucks are being emblazoned with signs pointing out that butts, chewing gum and illegal dumping are three of the biggest challenges in keeping the city clean.

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