Tobacco butt tax ‘could clean’ Sweden’s kerbs

Tobacco butt tax 'could clean' Sweden's kerbs
Tobacco giants should be fined for their part in littering Swedish streets, as smokers discard cigarette butts numbering about a billion a year, according to an environmental action group.

An estimated billion cigarette butts are discarded onto Swedish streets each year. They are considered to be a danger to the environment due to their toxic origin, said Anna Linusson of Håll Sverige Rent (Keep Sweden Clean) together with five other co-signatories in an op-ed in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper on Sunday.

“It should be up to the producers to make sure that the trash goes back into the system and is recycled,” she told the TT news agency. Linusson added that as much as 60 percent of rubbish littering Swedish streets are cigarette butts.

“There is a little rubbish but there are very many butts. It sets a precedent for more bad behaviour. When people see butts on the ground, they throw even more,” she said.

With as many as 2.7 million new butts being thrown on the street daily the op-ed writers proposed to penalize the manufacturers with fines.

“The tobacco industry has a major responsibility for the waste that they now completely refrain from taking. They should be held responsible for their waste products just as electronics and car companies are,” they wrote.

TT/The Local/pr

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