Seized tobacco used as garden mulch

Trading standards
Trading standards

A massive haul of illicit tobacco seized by trading standards investigators is being recycled by a charity… as mulch for the garden.

More than 75,000 cigarettes and 800kg of tobacco has been recovered as a result of nearly 30 raids across the county, including one in Market Harborough.

Last Tuesday at County Hall, Glenfield, trading standards officers handed over the illicit tobacco to charity organisation Sports Traider, which will use hi-tech machinery to break down the tobacco before putting it back into the earth.

Councillor Joe Orson, cabinet member for trading standards, said: “A significant amount of illegal tobacco has been found through the strong work of officers and I’m pleased the products can now benefit the environment.”

Trading standards say the sale of cheap, smuggled or fake tobacco products is detrimental to lawfully-operating retailers.

The products are also not subject to safety checks. Trading standards say they could pose a fire risk, because the cigarettes do not have self-extinguishing paper, unlike legal cigarettes.