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Our environment is not an ashtray – what can be done against the masses of cigarette butts?
The “Conference on Cigarette Butts“ on 6 March 2020 in Kiel brought together politicians, scientists, organizations and action groups to discuss the pollution and contamination of soil and water bodies with cigarette butts.

Our environment is not an ashtray – what can be done against the masses of cigarette butts?

TRIXIE supports maritime protections projects with the sales from the series BE NORDIC. This year, the focus is on cigarette butts. The start was a “Conference on Cigarette Butts“ in Kiel on 6 March 2020, where scientists, organizations and action groups presented impressive figures and alarming facts.

The harmless-looking little filters contain more than 7,000 chemical substances, 200 of which are considered poisonous and 50 of which are considered carcinogenic. Particularly in combination with water, these toxic substances leak out quickly and endanger animals and environment. More than 2/3 of the about 10 billion cigarettes smoked worldwide per day end up on the ground.

The conference organized by the association NaturFreunde (Friends of Nature) Schleswig-Holstein and financed by TRIXIE was an appropriate platform to discuss approaches to solutions.
Along with Jan Philipp Albrecht, Schleswig-Holstein’s Environment Minister, Prof. Dr. Edmund Maser, Head of the Institute of Toxicology at Kiel University and Dr. Anja Thielen from the Federal Association of Tobacco Industries, Environment Svenja Schulze joined the conference via video message.

A more stringent regulatory law, higher fines and better information were discussed along with a deposit system, prohibiting smoking on beaches, more ashtrays in public spaces and the tobacco industry paying for the disposal costs.

Finally, everyone agreed that in the first place, all smokers are compelled to dispose of their “highly toxic waste“ correctly and not simply discard the butts into nature.

As a next step, signs with ashtrays that smokers can borrow will be set up on North German beaches.