According to, experts at the World Health Organization say that cigarette butts are the second most common litter found on Europe's beaches. This is why last year, officials at the organization urged governments around the world to ban cigarette filters, by considering them planet and human health damaging single-use plastics.

Cigarette by-products contain as much as 7.000 chemicals and they also have microplastics in their composition, dangerous materials that take a very long time before they decompose in nature.

Dutch politician Vivianne Heijnen said that "an outright ban on single-use cigarette filters appears to be the most effective option to counteract the harmful environmental effects of this type of litter."

Still, she said that an EU-wide ban is necessary, as any individual national efforts could be considered an infringement of the European free trade agreement. The potential cigarette butts ban could be part of the next European guideline on single-use plastics, which should come in 2026.

Belgium and Denmark are also on the same page regarding an EU-wide ban of cigarette filters, as authorities argue they can give smokers a "false sense of security".

Niels Them Kjær, in charge of tobacco control at the Danish Cancer Society, said that "we suggest that we forbid cigarette filters. We base this proposal on the intuitive (mis)understanding that cigarette filters have some sort of protective influence. We want to get rid of the false security."