Cigarette companies are likely to cover this price tag by increasing product prices.
Disposed cigarette butts tend to pile up in parks, beaches, streets and endless other public spaces, as they are small enough to appear more harmless than the more visible type of waste. Because of their size they are more likely to be disposed of inappropriately and are even known to make up around 20% per cent of the debris gathered during ocean clean-ups.

Sadly, the chemicals that leak from a cigarette butt could be toxic enough to kill 50% of the saltwater and freshwater fish exposed for 96 hours. This percentage was calculated by experiments in which butts were submerged in a litre of water for 24hours.

On announcing the new requirement for tobacco companies, Spain has not yet said how the butts clean up will be carried out and what the cost will be, however a Catalan study by ‘zero waste society’ Rezero estimated the cost to be about €1 billion. Meanwhile, an article on highlighted that cigarette companies are likely to cover this price tag by increasing product prices.

Smokefree beaches

In 2021 local organisation No Fumadores (No Smokers) delivered a petition signed by over 283,000 people to the country’s environment minister, calling for all Spanish beaches to be free of smoke and discarded cigarette butts.

The group had been gathering signatures for over two years, with the aim of transforming Spain’s 3,084 miles (4,964km) of coastline into areas free of cigarette smoke and waste. Delivered to the minister Teresa Ribera, the petition asked for a national legislation on the issue.

Raquel Fernández Megina of No Fumadores said that the signatures “send the message that we can’t wait any longer”, adding that a ban would protect beachgoers from the effects of secondhand smoke while also curbing the ubiquitous cigarette butts that litter many of the country’s beaches. Meanwhile 525 local beaches have already been declared smoke free.

Read Further:

New Infographic Reveals The World’s Worst Cigarette Butts Polluters

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get news and current headlines about vaping every Friday.