A Voice for Our Ocean

STATEMENT: Removal of Cigarette Filters from California Single-Use Tobacco Product Ban is a Loss for Our Ocean

Industry puts bottom line first as plastic filters are removed from AB-1690

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2021 International Coastal Cleanup
SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - Pictured here a few of the very many cigarette butts filters picked up by volunteers the 2021 International Coastal Cleanup on September 18, 2021 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Ocean Conservancy)

Today, cigarette filters and cigar plastic filter tips were removed from California’s Single-Use Vape and Tobacco Ban (AB-1690). The proposed legislation, introduced in January 2022 and endorsed by Ocean Conservancy, originally banned the sale of all single-use tobacco products. Nicholas Mallos, senior director of Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas® program, issued the following statement:

“It’s disappointing to see industry once again put their bottom line above the health of our communities and our ocean. Cigarette butts are far and away the most common item littering beaches: they made up close to 30% of the trash collected by volunteers across California on Coastal Cleanup Day in 2020. They also contain single-use plastic filters, which shed microfibers and leach toxic chemicals into the environment. While this bill will still address the growing problem of single-use vapes as it moves forward, we hope that this is not the end of the road for a ban on single-use cigarette filters. Ocean Conservancy is immensely grateful to Assembly Members Luz Rivas, Petrie-Norris, and Stone for taking on this important issue and looks forward to working with them.”


About Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas® Program
Ocean Conservancy has led the fight for a clean, healthy ocean free of trash since 1986, when the U.S.-based nonprofit launched its annual International Coastal Cleanup (ICC). Since then, Ocean Conservancy has mobilized millions of ICC volunteers to remove trash from beaches and waterways around the world while pioneering upstream solutions to the growing ocean plastics crisis. Ocean Conservancy invests in cutting-edge scientific research, implements on-the-ground projects, and works with conservationists, scientists, governments, the private sector and members of the public to change the plastics paradigm. To learn more about our Trash Free Seas® program visit, and follow Ocean Conservancy on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


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