The Stop Tobacco Pollution Alliance (STPA)- Biodegradable filters: a health and environmental hazard for the Secretariat of the second session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-2)

Thursday, 01 June 2023

The Smoke Free Partnership (SFP) is participating in the Second Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution (INC-2) to advocate for a ban on cigarette filters.

Summary: The tobacco industry is facing a potential ban on plastic filters. Filters are toxic waste, as they release harmful chemicals, including heavy metals and radioactive substances, as they decompose. There is no viable treatment or recycling solution for these products. Such a ban poses a threat to the industry's profitability, and as a result, manufacturers are seeking to circumvent such a ban by creating “biodegradable filters.”

"Biodegradable" filters are equally toxic and have no environmental or health benefits. Introducing biodegradable filters may create a false perception that cigarette butts can be disposed into the environment without consequences. It contributes to the renormalization of smoking and improves the tobacco industry's image through misleading marketing strategies and corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices.

Banning filters in all their forms is both beneficial for public health and for reducing the environmental impact of cigarette butts.

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