Let nature be nature – and not a bin
Cigarette filters contain the plastic material cellulose acetate, which slowly degrades into microplastics in nature. This means that the butts do not disappear, they end up as small pieces of plastic.
In order to draw attention to the problem with cigarette butts and the materials that butts are made of, the Minister for Environment is launching the summer campaign ”#skodfritdanmark” (cigarette butt-free Denmark).
The campaign was launched on 1 July 2020 on Amager Beach, Copenhagen’s largest beach, where an installation with 30 large cigarette butts will remind the Danes during the summer that cigarette butts have no place in nature. The message will reach the many Danes who this year, due to Covid-19, will be enjoying Denmark's unique nature slightly more than they usually do when they spend their holiday on Danish beaches and in forests.
The polluter must pay
In future, tobacco manufacturers must take greater responsibility for their products – also when the products become litter. A clean-up responsibility for tobacco products will be introduced across the European Union. The clean-up responsibility means that in future tobacco manufacturers must pay for cleaning up cigarette butts in nature, label the products that contain plastic and pay for information to consumers on the negative impacts of throwing cigarette butts in nature.
- Nature needs our help being nature – and not a bin. We're all responsible for not littering. However, the tobacco industry must also take action and responsibility for the many cigarette butts ending up as litter in nature. The tobacco industry must pay for cleaning up the butts – and it's only fair that the polluter pays, says the Minister for Environment.