No butts: smoke companies to clean up

Tobacco companies will be made responsible for cleaning up cigarette butts in South Australia under legislation to go before state parliament.

The Greens will introduce a bill this year forcing cigarette manufacturers to clean up butts left in public places or face penalties if they do not comply.

Greens MP Robert Simms said the move would be a national first and comes after Spain introduced new rules making cigarette companies responsible for collecting discarded butts as well as transporting them for waste treatment.

"Cigarette butts are harmful to the environment and hazardous to our health," Mr Simms said.

"It's time for big corporations like tobacco companies to be held to account for the damage they are doing to our environment."

Mr Simms said butts were the most common items found during Clean Up Australia Day events and the annual cost of dealing with tobacco-related litter in Australia had been estimated at $73 million.