Reducing the amount of cigarette filters in litter. Study into the scale of the problem and analysis of possible policy measures

A large number of smoked cigarettes are discarded in litter every year. A major problem is the filter, which contains microplastics and chemicals. These substances leach into the environment and have a negative impact on humans and nature. To avoid these effects, in a motion the Lower House called for a study to examine how the proportion of cigarette filters in litter could be reduced by 70% by 2026 compared to 2022.

CE Delft conducted a study for the central government on the extent and consequences of the problem, the effects of existing and planned policies and the potential effects of five new policy measures.

This study shows that cigarette filters constitute a significant proportion of litter, leading to a negative environmental impact. Five possible measures were examined in this study, but they will not achieve the proposed 70% reduction target by 2026. Existing policies will result in a maximum reduction of around 15% by 2026, and new measures cannot be introduced before 2026 or will not achieve a sufficient reduction rate.

The State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport submitted our study to the Lower House on 21 February 2023. He has confirmed that a substantive response to our report will be submitted to the Lower House by 20 April 2023.