Fines for dropping a cigarette butt in the ACT will increase dramatically from $60 to $500 while littering a coffee cup will incur a $150 fine under the ACT Government’s rigorous new littering laws.
Under the new laws that were passed in the ACT Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, small-items littering, such as tickets or food wrappings, will incur a $150 fine instead of $60.
A framework was also introduced for escalating offences, where penalties increase according to the volume, mass or nature of litter dumped. Dumping under 10 litres of litter will attract a $500 fine, 10 to 200 litres will attract a $1,000 fine, while 200 to 1000 litres will incur a $1,500 fine.
Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter on the planet, and have a significant impact on the environment, releasing toxic chemicals and microplastics. With a hotter and drier climate, cigarettes present a real fire risk to our bush capital, with 13 per cent of grass fires in the ACT started by cigarettes.
The ACT Government currently spends $3 million a year cleaning, with Access Canberra receiving 1,178 reports of illegal dumping during the first seven months of 2019.