Ban tobacco industry greenwashing activities: WHO

Approximately 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are discarded worldwide each year, making them the most dumped item on earth and the most common litter on beaches.

Additionally, recent research published by the Truth Initiative shows that the chemicals leaking from a single cigarette butt (soaked for 24 hours in a liter of water) release enough toxins to kill 50% of fish in the world. saltwater and freshwater exposed there for 96 years. hours.

Even with such statistics, with relatively few in-depth studies undertaken, the true environmental impact of tobacco is unknown, the report states.

In India, a specific example of tobacco industry greenwashing is Imperial Brands which funds education, sanitation and health through its leaf partnership with Alliance One in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, including including environmental education through a local NGO called PROTECT.

According to the report, on World Environment Day in 2018, ITC, India’s largest tobacco company, claimed to be “water positive”, “carbon positive” and “climate positive”. recycling solid waste” for “over 14 years”, implying that the company was having a net benefit to the environment.

Since 2011, British American Tobacco (BAT) has engaged with the Brazilian Association of Tobacco Growers, the Brazilian Environmental Institute and the Ministry of Environment for the preservation of forests on the country’s south coast.

In addition, Altria, the American tobacco company, has funded so-called CSR projects in the United States, including the initiatives — Keep America Beautiful, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the Center for Watershed Protection.

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Richard V. Johnson