Baltimore Joke Suit: Cigarette Makers Should Clean Up Butts

At a glance

  • Baltimore City and Mayor Brandon Scott announced Monday that they had jointly filed a lawsuit against tobacco companies in an effort to recover money Baltimore spends cleaning up discarded cigarette butts.
  • Millions of littered cigarette filters pollute Baltimore’s water and soil, the city said in the suit filed in the Circuit Court of Baltimore City. Since May 2014, trash wheels have collected more than 12 million cigarette filters from Baltimore’s waterways, the city said.

    Baltimore spends $5.3 million disposing of cigarette filters each year, the city said in the lawsuit, representing a drain on the Department of Public Works’ budget. The nonbiodegradable filters leach toxic chemicals into the ground and water, where they can remain in the environment for decades, Baltimore argued in its complaint.

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