Paris distributes 15,000 pocket ashtrays to tackle cigarette butt pollution

City of Paris - 8/12/2015 3:00:00 PM

The City of Paris is taking action against cigarette ends on the capital's streets

This summer, 15,000 pocket ashtrays will be distributed to both Parisians and visitors as part of ambitious measures to tackle pollution in the French capital. From October 1st, the fine for those who discard their cigarette butts on the streets will also be increased to euros68.

An estimated 350 tonnes of cigarettes are discarded in Paris' streets each year. Just one cigarette butt takes between 4 and 12 years to break down, and during this time it will release heavy metals and pollutants, like nicotine, lead and cadmium into the environment. These toxic substances are harmful to surrounding flora and fauna, and when swept or thrown into gutters, they also pollute the water.

After an extensive awareness campaign launched in May, and the deployment of 30,000 new litter bins - each equipped with cigarette extinguishers - the City of Paris is now launching a new campaign to encourage smokers to act more responsibly. Over the course of the summer, 15,000 pocket ashtrays will be distributed free of charge to Parisian residents and visitors alike.

The City has also forged partnerships with various public institutions that are also affected by this daily pollution. Several Parisian universities, as well as the CROUS, the National Union of Hoteliers, Restaurateurs, and Caterers (SYNHORCAT), and the Union of Ile-de-France tobacconists will all assist in distributing the pocket ashtrays.

"Cleanliness is everybody's business, and it requires increased vigilance from all. After this period of raising awareness, the penalties will become a lot stricter. From October 1st, the fine for throwing cigarettes in the street will increase from euros35 to euros68" warns Mao Peninou, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of cleanliness.