Streets of Copenhagen increasingly swamped by cigarette butts

November 13th, 2014

This article is more than 9 years old.

City Council to take action and tackle the butt issue

Eight out of ten Danish smokers believe it is wrong to throw cigarette butts onto the street.

However, the amount of cigarette waste swept by cleaners in the capital has exploded since the smoking law was introduced in 2007.

Two kroner for each butt
According to the latest survey, the number of cigarette stubs collected from the streets of Copenhagen has increased by 71 percent over the past seven years.

In fact, cigarette waste accounts for 81 percent of the garbage collected by the city's sweeping machines. 

And it is costly – each stub not picked up by the machines costs the city an estimated two kroner.

City has neglected the situation
The deputy mayor for the environment, Morten Kabell, acknowledges that the city has not done enough to install disposal units where smokers can throw their butts.

"We haven't done enough to make sure smokers had a place to dispose of their cigarette butts," Kabell told Metroxpress.

"I will rectify the situation in co-operation with the hospitality industry, transport companies and others interested in creating a clean city."

The City Council will install 400 ashtrays around the city, and Kabell hopes bars, restaurants and cafes will follow.

Don't provoke anti-smokers
Frank Pedersen, the president of the Danish Smokers Association, urges its members to be mindful of how they dispose of their stubs.

"I like to set an example and tell smokers: 'Please, don't provoke anti-smokers even more by throwing your butts on the streets. Put them in your pocket or throw them in the trash," he told the newspaper.


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