1 Oct 2015

Zut alors! Paris smokers hit with $120 fines

9:58 am on 1 October 2015

Smokers in Paris caught throwing their cigarette butts onto the street will see $120 (or €68) go up in smoke, as a bid to clean up the French capital gets underway.


Photo: 123RF

The French capital has launched a new campaign to prevent cigarette butt pollution and minimise litter: currently council employees collect 350 tonnes of cigarette butts from the city's footpaths and roads each year.

Although there is currently a ban in place, with a matching fine of $60 (€35), it is seldom enforced, and most Parisians do not know it exists - as the city's butt-strewn streets attest.

But this time, the council is getting serious: beat cops have been issuing flyers to Parisians caught throwing their cigarette butts into the street, with the fines beginning in earnest from this month.

The problem has been made worse by a smoking ban in public places introduced in 2006, which forced French smokers out of cafes and bars and onto the city's roads.

The fine will extend to other forms of public littering, including public urination and - as may come to a relief to many tourists - leaving dog poo on the pavement.

- Reuters/RNZ