You’ll cough up £50 fine for a dropped fag butt

Pic Greg Macvean, TSPL, 08/01/2010, Cigarette butt and a shoe, part two
Pic Greg Macvean, TSPL, 08/01/2010, Cigarette butt and a shoe, part two

NO doubt about it - if you drop a cigarette butt, or throw one out of a car, you could get slapped with a £50 fine.

As of Monday, if you are caught throwing away a fag end in a public place you could be hit by an on-the-spot ash cash penalty.

To coincide with National No Smoking Day on Wednesday, East Dunbartonshire Council has launched a zero tolerance campaign called No Butts About It aimed at irresponsible smokers.

Councillor John Dempsey, vice convener of the authority’s development and infrastructure committee, said: “We are committed to working with the public to advise and inform smokers as many are unaware that smoking related items such as cigarette ends, matches, plastic wrappers etc are considered litter.

“So, from Monday we will begin issuing on-the-spot £50 fines to anyone caught dropping a cigarette butt or throwing one from their car in our town centres. With such a far-reaching information campaign there should be no surprises for anyone who gets caught out.

“It’s important that people know that there will be consequences for their anti-social behaviour. We know that responsible residents are fed up with litter and the selfish attitudes of those who drop it.

“The council is committed to keeping the streets of East Dunbartonshire clean as part of our drive to inspire civic pride and this campaign is our latest initiative.”

Smoking related litter affects 72 per cent of streets in towns across East Dunbartonshire and butts become trapped between paving stones and are washed into drains causing blockages and flooding.

They leak toxins that contaminate water, harm marine life and damage the environment. Many smokers think butts are biodegradable - however, due to their plastic content, experts believe they could take 500 years to disappear.

Councillor Dempsey said: “Smokers need to take responsibility and consider other members of their community, as well as their local environment. If a smoker is unable to dispose of their cigarette litter in the ashtray bins provided, they must take their litter home and dispose of it in the appropriate manner.”

East Dunbartonshire Council has launched an education campaign and will set up a kiosk in Asda Bearsden today (Thursday) offering information, advice and free portable ashtrays.