Between the risks of fire and the pollution of soil and water, cigarette butts are a real scourge all over the world. In France, the government has decided to charge tobacco companies through an eco-contribution. Manufacturers will therefore have to pay to manage waste related to their activity.
Manufacturers will participate in cleaning up municipalities
Every day around the world, smokers throw away no less 4,300 billion cigarette butts, or 137,000 cigarette butts per second. Remember that these same butts are made of cellulose acetate, a form of plastic that can take several years to decompose. It is also the main source of marine litter, ending up in the oceans after transit through storm sewers, streams and other rivers. But cigarette butts are harmful to marine life, among other things.
Just a year ago the deputies validated the creation of sectors à Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). These force producers to manage the waste generated by their activities. Regarding tobacco manufacturers, it is a question of finance the management of cigarette ends. As explained The echoes in an article dated February 22, 2021, the government specified the terms of these PWRs due to see the light of day this year. The eco-organization linked to tobacco companies should take the name of Alcome.
40% less cigarette butts on the floor
For example, cigarette manufacturers will need to finance cleaning at municipal level. This will include paying 2.08 euros per year per inhabitant to cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants. This eco-contribution will be 1.08 euro for towns with between 5,000 and 50,000 inhabitants and 50 centimes for the smallest towns. Moreover, this is a start since the measure provides for a progressive scale, the ceiling of which should be reached in 2023. Let us also mention the fact that this measure can very well be compared to the polluter pays principle adopted by the OECD in 1972.
Beyond this financial contribution, tobacco companies will have to develop awareness campaigns to waste. It will also be a question of setting up operations aimed at consumer customers, such as the distribution of pocket ashtrays. Indeed, the goal is to educate consumers and change behavior.
The objective to be achieved is also quite ambitious, namely reduce the number of cigarette butts by 40% thrown to the ground by 2027. Finally, the Alcome organization will be tasked with working on other projects such as the development of new cigarette butts processing sectors. Another example is the development of innovative collection systems.