Time to kick the butt of the most common litter item in the world: Ban cigarette filters

Dannielle S. Green, Bethanie Carney Almroth, Rebecca Altman, Melanie Bergmann, Sedat Gündoğdu, Anish Kumar Warrier, Bas Boots, Tony R. Walker, Anja Krieger, Kristian Syberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Cigarette filters offer no public health benefits, are single-use plastics (cellulose acetate) and are routinely littered. Filters account for a significant proportion of plastic litter worldwide, requiring considerable public funds to remove, and are a source of microplastics. Used cigarette filters can leech toxic chemicals and pose an ecological risk to both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Bottom-up measures, such as focusing on consumer behaviour, are ineffective and we need to impose top-down solutions (i.e., bans) if we are to reduce the prevalence of this number one litter item. Banning filters offers numerous ecological, socioeconomic, and public health benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number161256
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 20-03-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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