Rebecca pow, the British environment secretary, has warned local tobacco companies to take measures against the littering of millions of cigarette butts on the streets of the UK or face tougher laws, vapingpost reported.
Minister POW brought together major players in the tobacco industry, focusing on the tobacco manufacturers association, tobacco giant Philip Morris and Japan Tobacco International "If we fail to advance this discussion, we will have to think about what measures the government can take to ensure that the tobacco industry is increasingly responsible for the waste caused by its products," she said in a letter to tobacco companies such as international
Data show that smokers produce more than 5 trillion cigarette butts every year around the world. However, a lot of rubbish tends to pile up in parks, beaches, streets and bus stops because it is small enough to look harmless than the more conspicuous rubbish and therefore more likely to be improperly disposed of.
A study published in ecotoxicology and environmental security in 2019 showed that cigarette butts can damage ecosystems. "Cigarette butts on perennial ryegrass（ gramineae:Lolium perenne 50. ) and white clover (LE) guminosae:Trifolium repens 50. The study found that the presence of cigarette butts in soil can cause harm to some plants.
"Although littering in streets and parks around the world is a common phenomenon, our study is the first to show the effects of cigarette butts on plants," said lead author Dr. Danielle green. "Many smokers think cigarette butts are biodegradable quickly, so they don't really treat them as garbage. In fact, the filter is made of a kind of bioplastics, which may take years or even decades to decompose. "
Five years ago, the tobacco industry promised to step up its efforts to clean up waste, but since then, Japan Tobacco International alone has contributed a paltry 150000 pounds to the cost of cleaning up. Other tobacco companies and TMA have not contributed to these efforts.
Richard McIlwain, deputy CEO of keep Britain, said: "it's time for the tobacco industry to meet the challenge of getting rid of the millions of discarded cigarette butts left in our streets, parks and beaches, polluting our waterways and oceans. Empty promises are not enough. We need them to take responsibility for the products that are put on the market and educate their customers on how to handle the products properly after they have been used. We know that many smokers don't even think their ashes are littering, so there's still a lot to do to get rid of this threat from the environment. "
In response to the warning, a spokesman for the tobacco manufacturers association said the tobacco industry takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously. "This fall, the tobacco authority will launch a campaign to raise consumer awareness of the need to reduce litter and to ensure that people are aware of their responsibility to properly dispose of cigarette ends when smoking outside the home."