Clean Up Britain (CLUB) is a British non-profit organisation that aims to reduce littering by changing people’s behaviour. Clean Up Britain carried out a research project for Philipp Morris International between 2019 and 2020. They conducted a survey of smokers in the population to find out what the ideal portable ashtray should look like to encourage people to use it.[1] Philipp Morris commissioned the study from CLUB. On completion of the study, CLUB submitted a 72-page report ‘Portable Ashtrays Project in the UK – Report on the Quantitative Research’ to Philip Morris. In the report, Clean Up Britain acknowledges that a great deal of effort and dedication was put into the work by those conducting the study and they hope that it will provide valuable insights and actionable results for Philip Morris International. CLUB believes that the research they commissioned has produced some clear findings that Philip Morris can use to its advantage to “build a market-leading position – one step ahead of public policy and public opinion.”[2]

And further, Clean Up Britain writes

“We do believe Philip Morris International now has a blueprint for designing the ‘perfect’ ashtray.”

Portable Ashtrays Project in the UK, Report on the quantitative research

Philip Morris, for its part, announced in its sustainability report: “The results will be used to develop portable solutions that are more likely to be adopted by smokers on the go.”

Thus, the engagement of a popular non-governmental organisation is being used to conduct market research and gain popularity on the issue of cigarette butts. Philip Morris is thus signalling to the public that the company cares, is working on solutions and is on top of the problem. This makes the company appear responsible – and allows it to pursue economic interests at the same time.



United Kingdom