Some countries and local authorities have passed legislation to address the problem of littering. Fines may be issued for actions like throwing litter in public places or on public transport or littering from a vehicle.
The following countries have specific legislation:
United States: Punishable by a fine of more than $500, community service, or both, as per state statutes and local ordinances. There are anti-litter laws in all 50 states. Offenders can be punished with fines, community service and/or imprisonment.
United Kingdom: Littering is a crime under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This provision was expanded by the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, section 18. On conviction, it carries a maximum penalty amounting to £2500. Many local authorities can issue fixed penalty notices pursuant to section 88 of 1990’s Environmental Protection Act. They are often mistakenly called “on-the-spot fines”. However, they don’t have to be issued immediately and are not a fine. An alleged offender who does not wish to pay a fixed penalty notice can have his case heard at the Magistrates Court.
Australia has no national legislation. However, state-based environmental protection authorities have laws to discourage littering and can impose fines.
The Netherlands: The Dutch police and local supervisors (known locally as buitengewoon Opsporingsambtenaar or BOA), fine citizens who throw away cans, bottles, or wrappers on the streets.
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