Nigeria marked as the second highest contributor to $26bn cigarette butt pollution in Africa – Report

Nigeria is Africa’s second highest contributor to the US$26bn global costs of environmental pollution caused by plastics in cigarette butts and packaging every year.

This is according to data analysed by the African Tobacco Control Alliance.

The ATCA’s conclusion, as contained in its statement dated December 6, followed its analysis of research findings by the Global Centre for Good Governance in Tobacco Control, published online in the journal Tobacco Control.

The analysis found that African countries with the highest smoking rate contribute the most to the cigarette filter pollution costs, estimated at $26bn or $186bn every 10 years.

The leading country is South Africa, followed by Nigeria, Sudan, Mozambique, Kenya and Ethiopia.

“Although this amount is small compared with the annual economic losses from tobacco (US$1.4tn per year) and may appear insignificant compared with the eight million deaths attributable to tobacco each year, these environmental costs should not be downplayed as they are accumulating and are preventable,” the report said.

The estimate used data from the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, The Tobacco Atlas, and the World Wildlife Fund.

“Low and middle-income countries, especially in Africa with increasing smoking rates, relatively high plastic leakage, and poor waste management capacity; bear the brunt of this environmental burden,” it added.