Taken to the cleaners

| June 15, 2018

France’s junior environment minister Brune Poirson has warned the tobacco industry that the government will force it to get involved in the collection and elimination of its waste if it doesn’t come up with alternative solutions by September, according to a Reuters story relayed by the TMA.

Paris alone collects and disposes of 350 tonnes of discarded cigarette butts annually, despite the provision of wall-mounted ashtrays and the threat of a €68 (US$80) fine for those caught littering.

The ministry estimates that 40 percent of the 30 billion butts thrown away in France every year end up on beaches and in forests, rivers and the sea. “The ministry will not be brutal on the method, but will be firm on the objectives,” said Poirson. “Pollution is major, so the commitments cannot be minor.

A battle seems to be looming.

British American Tobacco’s public affairs director Eric Sensi-Minautier was quoted as saying that it was not up to companies, smokers or citizens to pay, via additional taxes, for the cost linked to the clean-up of cigarette butts.

And Imperial Brands said that it already encouraged smokers to dispose of butts responsibly.

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Category: Breaking News, Filters, Harm reduction, People, Regulation

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