Cigarette butts have been identified as a much more frequent waste problem than plastic straws or carrier bags. In the most recent Greats Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, cigarette butts far exceeded other plastic waste.
Continued exceptionalism for the tobacco industry?
It has long been observed that tobacco manufacturers are frequently exempted from regulations that are applied to other industries. In the case of the federal plastics strategy, Environment and Climate Change Canada has made clear the reasons it is exempting cigarette filters from its ban on single use plastics.
The department established 3 criteria to decide which single-use plastics to ban: 1) whether they were found in the environment, 2) whether they were often not recycled and 3) whether they have readily available alternatives.