Rome to introduce fines for dropping cigarette butts

Rome considers €150 fine as part of measures to clean up streets.

People caught dropping cigarette butts in public places in Rome could face new fines of around €150 according to a report in Italian newspaper Il Messaggero.

The proposal is part of draft legislation being considered by the city administration to help clean up the capital ahead of the upcoming Holy Jubilee proclaimed by Pope Francis.

Other measures would include tightening up regulations on aggressive begging, sleeping rough in public places, sitting on monuments, and washing car windows at traffic lights.

Smokers in Rome produce about 11 million cigarette butts a day, or four billion a year, with at least half of the butts flung on the street, according to a survey conducted by Italian environmental association Ecoitaliasolidale.

Fines for throwing cigarette butts on the ground vary considerably in cities around Italy: in Trento the fine is €500, Milan €450, while in Lucca it ranges from €30 to €150. Elsewhere in Europe, the same fine is €35 in Paris, £80 in London, and €150 in Dublin.

It takes between one and five years for a cigarette butt to biodegrade.