On February 5, 2014 in Maryland, the Democratic Candidate for Attorney General, Jon Cardin, defended his proposed legislation to ban the sale of cigarettes with non-biodegradable filters. On the other side of the country, California Assemblyman, Mark Stone, recently presented a similar proposal to ban the sale of filtered cigarettes altogether. What will the tobacco industry do to address these pending legislative mandates? Are biodegradable filters a feasible alternative to implement as early as January 2015?
Standard acetate filters found in nearly all ready-made cigarette brands can take up to 15 years to biodegrade, while companies such as Greenbutts LLC have produced filters manufactured from natural materials that biodegrade within days. Greenbutts is fast becoming known as the alternative biodegradable cigarette filter producer in the world. The company has spent years sourcing and testing the optimal blend of non-synthetic materials that allow for comparable filtration and quality levels as with standard acetate filters. The solution was developed to run on existing machinery for seamless integration with current cigarette manufacturing practices. Prior to any talk of government-mandated cigarette filters regulations, Greenbutts has been in discussions with the leading corporations in the tobacco industry who are proactively addressing the litter issue from all angles – including their own environmental initiatives. While attempts have been made to change consumer behavior, such as the implementation of anti-littering laws, it remains that 65% of cigarette butts are littered. Greenbutts presents a net-positive solution that drastically reduces the environmental and economic impact of cigarette litter. According to Keep America Beautiful (KAB.org), cigarette-butt litter as the most frequently littered item. It is seen as “unsightly, costly to clean up, and harmful to aquatic ecosystems and wildlife” by organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Jon Cardin supports companies like Greenbutts and the shift the industry is making towards a green alternative. “It is good to see states such as Maryland and California taking initiatives to address a significant environmental and economic concern. We are well positioned to assist the tobacco industry shift to biodegradable filters, whether or not a legislative mandate occurs,” – Founder of Greenbutts LLC