In a unique move, Baltimore City files a lawsuit against six named entities for cigarette filter waste.
According to a press release, Baltimore City has jointly filed a lawsuit to hold cigarette manufacturers accountable for cleanup costs associated with tobacco filter litter. The city cited a $5.3M annual price tag specifically for mitigating cigarette filter litter.
The announcement went on to highlight that remediation includes clearing sewage and drainage pipes of clogs from the non-biodegradable filters as well as managing the “disastrous consequences for flora, fauna, land and waterways,” caused by the leaching of toxic cigarette additives into the environment.
Additionally, Baltimore City points out the negligence adopted by these companies in refusing to switch to biodegradable filters and not including proper directives on their packaging, informing smokers on how to dispose of cigarette butts to avoid further damage to the environment.
“This is the first litter lawsuit against cigarette manufacturers, and Baltimore is proud to lead the way in ensuring that these companies pay for cleanup costs that for decades they have offloaded on communities like ours,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott.
Baltimore City is ultimately seeking to recover the expenditures and losses resulting from clean-up and disposal of cigarette butts, environmental remediation, diminution in property values, loss of revenue, and substantial fines for littering in the city.