In France, around 30 billion cigarette butts are tossed out onto the street every year.
In Paris alone, around 350 tonnes of them are cleaned up every year.
This costs money, but it's also a health hazard. Cigarettes, especially their filters, contains substances including polonium 210, acetone and benzopyrene, which can turn into toxic waste.
Cigarette butts take 10 years to decompose, and often find their way into the sewers where they can form compact masses that block pipes.
So who should pay for cleaning them up?
The French government says it is up to cigarette manufacturers to pay the bill.
“This is taking a toll on the environment and it is the taxpayers who are paying for these cigarette butts to be swept up out of their own pockets through local taxes. This is no longer tolerable,” junior environment minister Brune Poirson, who is meeting the tobacco firms, told Europe1 radio.
But the tobacoo industry – unsurprisingly – doesn't want to pay for what is says is down to the smokers' own responsibility.
“If you want to tackle this problem at the root, you need to make sure that smokers throw their cigarette butts in the bin, and then you need to make sure that there are enough bins around and other means so that they don't just throw them anywhere,” Eric Sensi-Minautier, from British American Tobacco said in a press release.
The company suggests other ways it could help to tackle the pollution problem could be by giving money to environmental charities or funding tobacconists to hand out pocket ashtrays.
After Thursday's meeting, the industry will have a few months to come up with concrete proposals to tackle the problem before meeting with the government again in September.