The world’s biggest tobacco companies are fuming after being blindsided by ministers over plans to make them pay tens of millions of pounds to pick up cigarette butts.
Environment minister Rebecca Pow said cigarette makers must be made “fully accountable for the unsightly scourge of litter created by their products”.
Tobacco firms said that they had already voluntarily agreed to pay £50m to an environmental organisation that would aim to discourage smokers from dropping cigarette butts.
But with the money due to be handed over at the start of April, the Government instead decided a regulatory intervention was required to force them to pay for the clean-up.
The people dropping the cigarette butts are the people dropping the cigarette butts. So, fine them.
Pollution is, after all, caused by polluters.