France wants to reduce the number of discarded cigarette butts in the environment by 40 percent within six years, reports DPA International, citing government officials.
Every year, smokers toss an estimated 23.5 billion cigarettes into the country’s streets and parks.
The French environment ministry wants tobacco companies to help solve the problem. A recycling and anti-waste law passed last year requires them to take responsibility for their products after their “end of life.”
The tobacco industry will pay €80 million ($93.8 million) per year to a newly created institution that will allocate the money to projects aimed at eliminating cigarette butts and raising awareness, the ministry said.
The ministry also wants to distribute pocket ashtrays, set up more cigarette-only trash bins and establish new collection and recycling systems for cigarette butts.
According to the latest EU statistics, smokers account for 22.4 percent of the French population.