ASH comment on Government plan to consider making tobacco manufacturers pay for clearing up cigarette butts



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30 March 2021

ASH comment on Government plan to consider making tobacco manufacturers pay for clearing up cigarette butts

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH commented, “We’re delighted that Ministers in DEFRA and DHSC are working collaboratively to use environmental legislation to make tobacco manufacturers clear up the toxic waste caused by cigarette butts. This is exactly what ASH called for at a meeting between DEFRA and Keep Britain Tidy last summer, when a voluntary approach was under discussion. This is a good first step in delivering the cross-government approach to public health launched by the Prime Minister yesterday.”

Background

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) attended a roundtable held by DEFRA on smoking-related litter in September 2020. In advance of and at the meeting ASH raised concerns that a mandatory approach was essential for any scheme to be compliant with the Government’s legal obligations under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to protect health policy from the commercial and vested interests of the tobacco industry as parties to the World Health Organisation treaty on tobacco. The Minister responded after the meeting stating that DEFRA would ensure that any scheme would be implemented in line with the UKs obligations under this treaty.

We are therefore delighted that the most recent announcement from DEFRA expresses the Government’s commitment to a strong regulatory approach and look forward to responding to the consultation on Extended Producer Responsibility in support.

ENDS

Notes to editors

Action on Smoking and Health is a health charity working to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco use. For more information see: www.ash.org.uk/about-ash. ASH receives funding for its programme of work from Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.

ASH staff are available for interview. For more information send an email to press@ash.org.uk or contact Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive, ASH on 07976 935 987