Macquarie University
01whole.pdf (8.76 MB)

Cigarette butt litter and key policy responses in Australia

Download (8.76 MB)
posted on 2022-03-28, 20:52 authored by Lucinda Wallbank
The health risks of tobacco consumption are well established, but there is markedly less awareness of the environmental impacts of cigarette consumption and cigarette butt disposal. The by-products of the 6.3 trillion cigarettes smoked annually are filters containing benzene, nicotine, cadmium, and dozens of other chemicals, and it is estimated that between one- and two-thirds of all filters are discarded on roadways, pavements, and green spaces. Butt litter as an environmental and public health hazard is a relatively new field of study but recent research, conducted primarily in the United States, into filter composition and toxicology, clean-up costs, regulatory response, and key policy actors has obvious implications for Australia. Cigarette butts are consistently found to be the most littered item by Australian environmental organisations, yet there has been little analysis of their environmental and health impacts. This thesis argues that there is a clear need for such research. It first establishes the scale of the butt litter problem in Australia using existing data, then assesses policy response to date. The thesis then analyses roles played by government, non-governmental organisations, and the tobacco industry in framing related issues, and in constructing policy response. It concludes with recommendations for further research and policy.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction -- Chapter 2: Literature review -- Chapter 3: Methods -- Chapter 4: Smoking prevalence, tobacco control and butt litter in Australia -- Chapter 5: Non-governmental response to butt litter in Australia, environmental organisations and the tobacco industry -- Chapter 6: Proposals for regulation -- Chapter 7: Conclusion.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 56-70

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Department of Environmental Sciences

Department, Centre or School

Department of Environmental Sciences

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Ross Mackenzie

Additional Supervisor 1

Paul Beggs


Copyright Lucinda Wallbank 2017. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (ix, 89 pages)

Former Identifiers