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FRANCE

Cigarette manufacturers must finance cig butt clean-up

12 Aug 2021. In France, the tobacco industry will have to pay EUR 80 million per year for the clean-up of butts and for awareness campaigns, reports franceinfo.

Many French people throw their cigarettes away carelessly, so that 23 billion butts end up on the streets and in nature every year. In Paris alone, 350 tonnes are collected every year. From now on, tobacco companies have to pay a financial contribution, collected by eco-organisation Alcome, which was officially approved by the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Solidarity on 10 August.

According to the "polluter pays" principle of the law on the fight against waste and the circular economy of February 2020, cigarette manufacturers will therefore have to put their hands in the wallet, the report said. The sums will then be paid back to local authorities to finance collection, awareness-raising and poster campaigns, clean-up operations and the distribution of pocket ashtrays on beaches or in the streets.

"We hope, at least initially, according to the objectives set by the specifications, to reduce the presence of cigarette butts by 20 to 30 per cent within three years." Jérôme Duffieux, President of Alcome, told franceinfo.

According to the latest EU statistics, smoking in France accounts for 22.4 per cent of the population