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Pollution: cigarette manufacturers must now finance the collection of cigarette butts

How is the collection of cigarette butts in France? Thirty billion cigarette butts are strewn on the ground every year. While they are very toxic components, the filters are thrown away everywhere, in town and in the countryside. Since Tuesday August 10, 2021, it has been formalized that it is up to the tobacco companies to finance the collection of cigarette butts . Alcome was chosen to collect contributions.

The cigarette butt collection system financed by cigarette producers

Previously, the collection of cigarette butts out of the bins was the responsibility of the cleanliness services of each municipality. However, it is a major expense that was financed by the local tax.

Thanks to the anti-waste law, cigarette production factories must pay their contribution. Moreover, the polluter-pays system was even created for the implementation of this project. The funds given to the eco-organization Alcome will be managed in order to combat the discarding of cigarette butts in nature.

To do this, Alcome is implementing various projects. Awareness of the population as well as the setting up of displays are necessary. Also, the organization carries out popularization of pocket ashtrays in very busy places.

As for corrective measures, collection and cleaning campaigns are deployed. The eco-organization provides 2% of funding for research projects on recycling solutions and collection of cigarette butts. Also, every two years, this association must organize a national campaign for the popularization of their environmental impacts.

In this way, Alcome hopes to reduce cigarette butts by 20 to 30% in 3 years.

Budget for cigarette butt collection

The sum necessary for the collection of cigarette butts is 80,000,000 euros, according to the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition. In the first year of its implementation, cigarette production factories allocated 10,000,000 euros. The following year, this amount will be doubled.

The collection of these sums of money is within the framework of the application of the law released in February 2020. The latter stipulates that the manufacturer is responsible for its products until their end of life. However, it will be necessary to wait until 2023 for the tobacco companies to finance these cigarette butt collections in full.

The cost of cigarette butt collection varies according to the area of the locality. Rural agglomerations whose population does not exceed 5,000 inhabitants, it is 0.50 euro. Municipalities with no more than 50,000 inhabitants receive 1.08 euro per person. While in municipalities with a population of more than 50,000 inhabitants, this amount is 2.08 euros.

This is the extended producer responsibility. Tobacco companies must then take measures to ensure that cigarette butts are recycled. Very polluting, these substances take a long time to decompose because of their plastic components.

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ÉcoMégot is a French company, resulting from the social and solidarity economy, which offers an innovative, complete, local and tailor-made solution for raising awareness, creating zero butt spaces, collecting and recycling cigarette butts in all of France (Lyon, Paris, Marseille, Toulouse, Bastia, Saint-Cloud, Monaco, Bordeaux, Pau ...). 

Our mission is to promote behavioral changes among citizens, employees and festival-goers with regard to cigarette butt pollution. We believe that the recycling of cigarette ends should serve the common awareness and thus create a virtuous circle carrying meaning.

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