U.K. environment minister Rebecca Pow has threatened the tobacco industry with tough action unless it does a better job of controlling cigarette litter.
In letters sent to Philip Morris, Japan Tobacco International and the Tobacco Manufacturers Association (TMA), Pow described smoking-related litter as a particularly persistent and widespread problem
“I had hoped to see the TMA and the companies it represents work more proactively to deliver on the commitment it gave during the 2015 select committee inquiry on litter and fly-tipping.”
Pow said she was prepared to hold talks with the tobacco industry and Keep Britain Tidy (KBT) but kept open the option of additional steps if the roundtable yielded insufficient progress.
“We will have to reflect on what steps the government can take going forward to ensure that the tobacco industry takes increasing responsibility for the litter that its products create,” she said.
Pow warned this “could go beyond what KBT has proposed to the industry as a voluntary approach”.
The Environment Bill contains clauses that would allow the creation of an environmental permitting regulations scheme for tobacco filters.