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“The scourge of the century”: our readers share their views on Monaco’s cigarette butts

Cigarette butts Monaco
Benoit Sorre / Monaco Tribune

From flowerpots to the port, few places in Monaco seem to be spared from cigarette ends. Once again, we took to our Facebook page and Facebook group, to ask Monaco Tribune’s readers their thoughts on the waste burdening the Principality’s streets.

Streets have turned into ashtrays

There are places in Monaco where cigarette butts have become embedded in the landscape. “Take a look at the planters of the Suffren, on 7 rue Suffren Reymond,” wrote Jeannine on our Facebook page. “They’re full of cigarette butts…perhaps it helps with plant-growing…sorry, dark humour.” Maeva confirms Jeannine’s words: “The planters on my street have turned into ashtrays. No matter how many ashtrays are installed, people don’t use them.”


It turns out that seagulls are not the only reason to watch your head. For some, as Carmela tells us, cigarette butts have become more than just an eye-sore. “When you live on a ground-floor apartment, cigarette butts are not the only thing falling from windows.”

We should force shops to have compulsory ashtrays in front of their doors

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The impact of workplace smoking breaks

Our readers tell us that cigarette butt waste is most noticeable around areas with a high density of offices and shops. “On rue de la Turbie, some shopkeepers will throw their cigarette butts when they’re still on. We should force shops to have compulsory ashtrays in front of their doors,” writes Patrick.

An employee of the Monaco Sanitation Society (SMA) tells us that the Fontvieille smokers definitely have their favourite spots: “Right in front of the imaging centre, as well as in front of Decathlon. Sometimes, my shovel is filled with cigarette butts.”

Smokers can also be spotted on Monaco’s port. “It would be a good idea to raise awareness amongst the crews who smoke on the port and then discretely throw their cigarette butts into the sea,” tells us Jean-François.

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It’s just it’s like dog poop and people who leave bags on the ground after picking it up.

You tell us your methods to stop cigarette pollution

Some smokers have already found tricks to fight against cigarette butts, or “the scourge of the century,” as Ghislaine calls them.

Laura shares with us her methods. “I throw out cigarette butts in rubbish bins after making sure that they’re turned off. I’ve also bought pocket ashtrays. I don’t understand why people throw their cigarettes on the floor. It’s just it’s like dog poop and people who leave bags on the ground after picking it up.”

Mégots monaco zero déchet
©  Monaco Tribune / Alexis Gertaldi

Pocket ashtrays handed out for free

To fight against cigarette waste in the Principality, Monaco’s town hall has launched the Monaco Zéro Mégot initiative (mégot is the French word for cigarette butt). Thanks to the initiative,  Monaco’s beaches have now gone smoking-free, including the brand-new Larvotto complex, although not without criticism.

>> READ MORE: “A modern beach that suits Monaco”: our readers share their views on the new Larvotto beach

To tackle cigarette waste in the Principality, Visit Monaco info points are handing out pocket ashtrays to both tourists and residents. The ashtrays are painted in Monaco’s colours and seem to have caught the eyes of smokers and non-smokers alike. The bright red tins may well be on their way to dethrone Monaco’s stamps and coins as the Principality’s most desirable collector’s items. Claudia does not hide her enthusiasm: “I don’t smoke, but I would like a small ashtray”. Ephine too admits she wants to add the ashtray to her personal collection. “I want to engrave one of these ashtrays just like a collector.”

Monaco zero mégot mégot
©  Monaco Tribune / Alexis Gertaldi