On May 18, Anne Hidalgo launched a new campaign called “Streets Without Butts” in 20 locations throughout Paris. Delphine Burkli, the mayor of Paris’ 9th arrondissement, decided not to participate in the campaign and explained why.
Paris’ mayor wants to end cigarette butt pollution in the city, which despite the 68 Euro fine still leads to the collection of 10 millions butts every day in the capital, amounting to 350 tons of waste.
During the “Streets Without Butts” campaign, residents, associations, and street vendors are invited to clean up the streets. The campaign’s different locations are all equipped with public ashtrays, and throughout the year, public awareness campaigns are organized to encourage smokers not to throw their butts on the sidewalk.
Recycle your cigarette butts and receive a discount on cigarettes
Delphine Bürkli has criticized the “Streets Without Butts” campaign for a lack of ambition. According to her, this campaign should be applied to every single street in Paris, not just 20 locations. In addition, she wishes that more ashtrays would be installed in her own neighborhood.
Delphine Bürkli and her team in the 9th arrondissement have already been carrying out a cigarette butt recycling campaign since 2014. Bar and restaurant owners are asked to clean up their clients’ discarded butts, which are then picked up by a specialized company that either recycles the waste or sends it to Brittany. The recycled cigarette butts are then reused in the manufacture of street furniture and insulation materials for construction works.
Delphine Bürkli wants to think of a new strategy for cleaning up cigarette waste because she wants smokers to be more involved in cleaning up their own mess. To encourage them to work together with the authorities, Bürkli suggests a cigarette butt deposit system, meaning that residents who recycle cigarette butts will receive a small discount when purchasing a pack of cigarettes.