Reduce post-consumer waste

We understand that our product proposition needs to address both the health impacts of our products, as well as their environmental impact. To address the latter, we embed principles of eco-design and circularity. We also implement effective post-consumer waste management solutions to reduce waste, prevent littering, and promote the responsible disposal of products at end-of-life.

Old heated tobacco devices for recycling

Our 2025 Roadmap goals

see our full 2025 roadmap


Reduce post-consumer waste and prevent littering by implementing comprehensive programs covering all our consumables.

Follow eco-design and circularity principles for all smoke-free electronic devices.

Key performance indicators to track our progress

Reduce post-consumer waste and prevent littering by implementing comprehensive programs covering all our consumables
Progress on track

We have expanded the scope of anti-littering programs for cigarette butts to 76 percent of sales volumes while continuing to roll out end-of-life take-back programs for smoke-free consumables, now covering 17.6 percent of sales volumes.*

* Shipment volume includes heated tobacco units, e-vapor cartridges, and e-vapor disposables. See PMI’s Sustainability KPI Protocol 2023 for further details.

Follow eco-design and circularity principles for all smoke-free electronic devices
Progress with challenges
Smoke-free products—and heated tobacco products, in particular—are a relatively new product category. As such, they are generally not covered by existing product category rules. We have further defined our framework for eco-design and integrated several sustainable design principles into select pilot projects.
fundamentals background

See full performance metrics

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Learn more about PMI’s Sustainability Index in our Integrated Report 2023. See the full performance metrics and related footnotes here.

The right thing to do

Reducing and appropriately managing post-consumer waste means we extract, convert, and use fewer raw materials from a planet with limited natural resources.

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The right thing to do

Reducing and appropriately managing post-consumer waste means we extract, convert, and use fewer raw materials from a planet with limited natural resources. 

By reducing materials used in our packaging, combustible products, smoke-free consumables, and electronic devices, we can reduce our environmental footprint and decrease our negative impact on the planet and society.

Moreover, committing to the safe and responsible disposal of post-consumer waste addresses society’s concerns regarding the impacts of litter. Among others, there are concerns over the pollution resulting from improper disposal of plastic, tobacco, and other materials such as metals, potentially resulting in harm to wildlife and humans alike. We recognize the imperative of designing lower-impact products and working to protect nature and preserve the environment.

The business case

Many consumers consider the environmental impact of products and services in their purchase decisions.

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The business case

Many consumers consider the environmental impact of products and services in their purchase decisions. Regulators also are increasingly focused on corporate responsibility regarding the manufacture and use of materials (e.g., single-use plastics, electronic device repairability, packaging, end-of-life management). Appropriately addressing post-consumer waste mitigates negative impacts on our bottom line, as producers increasingly are asked to participate in cleanup costs or cover a significant share of the product end-of-life waste management cost. 

It also helps us to enhance our brand equity and corporate reputation, and to meet consumer expectations.

Heightened consumer expectations and regulatory trends further motivate us to innovate in ways that can drive competitive advantage. Devising more circular value chains not only reduces waste and litter but also promotes better use of materials and higher operational efficiency—all of which are good for our bottom line.
Old heated tobacco devices for recycling

Our progress in 2023

Read more in our Integrated Report
Related articles, case studies, and videos

Zoom in: Post-consumer waste

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Tobacco leaf close-up

Preserve nature

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Littering prevention and sustainability in the Nordics


JPG-800width-PMI Corporate_Integrated Report_Stockholm Sweden_Interview Anette Rosengren_thumbnail_16-9_September 2021
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Sustain product reliability

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Working with behavioral scientists to change attitudes toward littering


behavioral science study littering video thumbnail

PMI collaborates with Cortexia to analyze litter


cortexia collaboration video thumbnail

PMI and Litterati: Working together


litterati PMI collaboration video thumbnail
Related reports, policies, and documents

Environmental commitment


Anti-littering policy


PMI’s Sustainable Design Framework


Reduce Post-Consumer Waste Strategy


Sustainability KPI Protocol 2023


Looking ahead

Our efforts to find suitable alternatives to replace cellulose acetate in our cigarette and heated tobacco unit filters are under way and will continue into 2024. With regard to packaging, we are focused on delivering against our 2025 aspirations and will continue deploying programs to reduce packaging weight and to ensure all our packaging formats are designed for recycling. The Swedish Match integration into PMI will bring a new and challenging dimension to our packaging portfolio. We recognize this as a great opportunity to take a refreshed look at more circular packaging solutions, such as refill or reuse, for this growing format as we drive alignment with our PMI sustainability goals.

In 2024, we will continue maturing PMI’s eco-design program by further embedding these principles across our devices, consumables, and accessories portfolio. Concretely, on the devices portfolio, we will continue to improve our eco-certification framework by testing the application of eco-friendly design specifications into selected pilot projects in our heat-not-burn and e-vapor categories, and seek to obtain independent verification of the implementation of this framework. In this context, we also plan to evolve our LCA methodology and apply it to select variations of our smoke-free devices. Moreover, we will review PMI’s repair strategy with the aim to refine our design guidelines for repair and recycle, and work on improving device robustness with the aim to extend product longevity and minimize electronic waste. Within our consumables portfolio, we will continue exploring technical solutions to reduce the plastic content in the heat-not-burn consumables. Finally, across our accessories portfolio we will drive further adoption of environmentally responsible materials in our offerings. Building on our progress to date, we remain committed to maintaining a recycling rate within our CIRCLE program above 80 percent.

We will continue deploying and expanding the reach and impact of the anti-littering programs we deploy across the many countries in which we operate, leveraging our awareness-raising efforts to the greatest extent possible, to prevent inappropriate disposal and inspire behavioral change in consumers’ habits. Meanwhile, we will also continue to explore and test nonplastic filter materials that fulfill demanding criteria and meet consumer expectations.

We will remain committed to anchoring sustainability in our brands. During 2024, we will deploy our sustainability roadmap (covering product design, packaging, post-consumer waste management initiatives, and consumer-facing communications) for our fairly recent categories of e-vapor and oral products. Reducing post-consumer waste remains a strong focus, and we expect to expand the geographical coverage of our smoke-free consumables end-of-life take-back program. Our aim is to reach 80 percent of global volume coverage and we are on track to achieving that. As we continue to deploy our program at scale, we plan to conduct studies to better understand use patterns and inform our waste treatment strategies. Further, understanding the importance of prolonging the lifespan of our devices, we plan to scale the deployment of our second-life IQOS proposition to reach our 2025 aspiration. 

This online content about our Integrated Report should be read in conjunction with PMI’s Integrated Report 2023. This report includes metrics that are subject to measurement uncertainties due to inherent limitations in the nature and methods for data collection and measurement. The precision of different collection and measurement techniques may also vary. This report includes data or information obtained from external sources or third parties. Unless otherwise indicated, the data contained herein cover our operations worldwide for the full calendar year 2023 or reflect the status as of December 31, 2023. Where not specified, data comes from PMI financials, nonfinancials, or estimates. Unless explicitly stated, the data, information, and aspirations referenced in online content do not incorporate PMI’s wellness and healthcare business, Vectura Fertin Pharma. Regarding the Swedish Match acquisition, completed late 2022, unless otherwise indicated, online content does not include information pertaining to their sustainability performance. Please also refer to "This report at a glance" on page 2 of PMI's Integrated Report 2023 for more information. Aspirational targets and goals do not constitute financial projections, and achievement of future results is subject to risks, uncertainties and inaccurate assumptions, as outlined in our forward-looking and cautionary statements on page 214. In PMI's Integrated Report 2023 and in related communications, the terms “materiality,” “material,” and similar terms are defined in the referenced sustainability standards and are not meant to correspond to the concept of materiality under the U.S. securities laws and/or disclosures required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 


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