Litterbugs could face hefty fines if caught in the act

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Litterbugs could face hefty fines if caught in the act
At the moment cantons can set their own rules regarding littering. Photo: Stephan Ridgway

Throwing your cigarette butt on the street could incur a 300 franc fine if a proposal by the Swiss federal government is adopted this summer.


At the moment the cantons are free to set their own rules regarding littering on Swiss streets, but the federal government has become so concerned by the problem – which reportedly costs authorities 200 million francs a year – that it wants to fix a fine at national level, reported daily paper 20 Minutes.

The proposed revision to the Swiss environment law would make it a federal offence to litter the streets with items such as drink cans, plastic bags, food containers, chewing gum and cigarette butts, with a 300 franc spot fine applicable to offenders across the country.

Fines will be imposed by police if they catch the litterbug in action in public places, whether that be in the street, on public transport or in the countryside.

The owners of private property can also denounce a person to the police if they see them littering on their premises, said the paper.

A maximum fine of 20,000 francs will be imposed for anyone dumping large quantities of rubbish on the street outside of usual disposal points.

Though the federal law would supersede any cantonal regulations, it would allow the cantons the right to set exceptions during big public events such as music festivals.


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