Clearing a way forward: PMI employees help clean up their communities29 Sep 2019 · 5 min read
Building a smoke-free future is a key focus for PMI. But there are other important societal and environmental issues where the company can also play its part. PMI is taking a more systematic approach to the issue of cigarette butt littering, which involves analyzing and taking action on the causes of littering, looking at the drivers of behavior change, promoting equipment for proper disposal, and raising awareness. Stretching across 30 nations – from Australia to the Ukraine – groups of employees un-littered their environment by organizing cleanups to remove all types of litter, including bags, bottles, and cigarette butts.
“Our goal is to contribute to impactful solutions to the problem of cigarette butt littering,” said Huub Savelkouls, PMI’s Chief Sustainability Officer. * “Awareness-raising initiatives such as the World Cleanup Day play an important role in uniting individuals around the world to promote litter-free communities.”
On this occasion, more than 82 tons of litter was picked up across 46 cities, which equates to 2.5 million m2. And in places such as the Philippines, the day proved truly successful, with 1,000 employees engaging with their communities to collect 45 tons of litter.†
While not a permanent solution, these cleanups help to raise awareness of the issue of littering – and cigarette-butt littering particularly – in local communities. It will take a joint effort from many stakeholders to properly address the global issue, but these local activities show what is possible when everyone comes together.
Coming together to take action against littering
Over 3,000 employees, volunteers, local community members, and government officials collected 782,360 cigarette butts.†
* Jennifer Motles succeeded Huub Savelkouls as Chief Sustainability Officer on November 1, 2020, following Mr. Savelkouls’ retirement from PMI.
** Baltics (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia)
*** Nordics (Finland, Norway, Denmark)
† These figures are not final