For a week now, a rumour has been going around the halls of big tobacco companies. There may be a new tax that cut into their sales figures in France. This time, cigarette butts, also known as dog ends, are the target. After the hike in cigarette packet prices, this will be a heavy blow to these groups.
Nevertheless Brune Poirson, French Secretary of State for the Environment, made efforts to reassure cigarette manufacturers. Her guest appearance on LCI on Thursday April 26th confirmed that there was no secret plan to tax cigarette butts. However, cigarette manufacturers will need to get organised to deal with the problem.
Interviewed by Christophie Jakubyszyn, Brune Poirson stated that new measures were on the horizon. These disposable filters, soaked with toxins, are a poison for the environment, with over 30 billion cast into nature every year. The public must be made aware that a single used cigarette filter can pollute tens of litres of water. Furthermore, it takes 15 years on average for the biodegradation process to be complete. As a result, picking up cigarette butts is a legal requirement, at the expense of local government.
Raising awareness in smoker populations
As part of the nation’s environmental policy, a dedicated payment appears to be the best solution to finance this clean-up operation. The government was quick to remind companies that this additional expense would not be due if manufacturers participated in clean-up efforts directly. With this in mind, Brune Poirson suggested the notion of an eco-contribution.
For Philip Morris France, this is nothing more than a roundabout way to raise the price of cigarettes. Of course, it is important that smokers be made aware of the role they play in protecting the environment. However, according to the American corporation, this type of project doesn’t even scratch the surface of the issue. Even less so after the recent hike in cigarette prices.