A north-east MSP has suggested a way for councils to adopt a creative way of tackling litter caused by cigarette butts.
Kevin Stewart wants local authorities to introduce ballot bins, which pose a question that can be answered by dropping a cigarette end into one of several boxes.
It is a similar system used by supermarket chain Tesco so shoppers can drop blue chips to say which local good cause should receive donations.
The bins allow for questions to be changed on a regular basis.
Mr Stewart suggested a good example of an Aberdeen question would be “what is it called: buttery or rowie?”
Southend Council in Essex has recently introduced the bins and a 12-week evaluation of all sites reported a 46% reduction in cigarette litter.
Mr Stewart said: “Cigarette litter is a problem which blights the city centre and the ballot bins solution seems to be an innovative and effective way to cut down on ugly orange filter ends littering our streets.
“There needs to be a focus on making it easier for folk to get rid of waste or recycle when they are on the go.
“Small and fiddly cigarette bins are not a favourite of most smokers, so a new and easy solution like the one I’m suggesting could make a big difference to improving our streets.
“I think that more folk would be encouraged to bin their cigarette end if there was an eye-catching and humorous way to do it.
“Southend Council have shown with their study that this works, and it’s time for Aberdeen to look into showing some initiative for our city centre.”
Mr Stewart said he had written to Aberdeen City Council to offer the suggestion.
The council regards litter prevention strategy as a political issue so it would be up to councillors to decide if they should be introduced.
A spokesman for Ballot Bins, which makes the bins, said: “Smokers find these ashtrays much more engaging than the alternatives and are more likely to use them.”