One of the side effects of the smoking ban is an increase in the levels of cigarette litter outside venues. To combat this the Business Design Centre (BDC) has invested in Ashcan, a unique portable cylinder-shaped ashtray that takes up the space of exactly one cigarette in a pack. They are to be distributed to all employees, tenants and visitors to the BDC that require them.
Dominic Jones, Chief Executive, BDC, says “While we are not encouraging people to smoke we must be realistic. I believe the distribution of Ashcans will offer responsible smokers a simple way to extinguish and dispose of their cigarettes. We have a very close relationship with Islington Council and looking after our local environment has always been very important to us, this is just one way in which we are trying to help.”
Ashcan was invented by Alastair McNeill, a young designer who had previously exhibited at New Designers, a graduate design event held at the BDC. Alastair died in January 2007. His wife Lucy, a former Event Director at Upper Street Events, the organising arm of the BDC, is now running the business. It is already being retailed in Tesco stores nationwide, with endorsement from Keep Britain Tidy.
Ashcan is airtight, so it both extinguishes a lit cigarette and traps the odour inside, ready to be disposed of easily. Lucy McNeill who distributes the product, says, “Ashcan is a simple but incredibly effective solution to the growing problem of cigarette litter. The BDC is once again leading by example by investing in the product, I hope other businesses see fit to follow suit.”