Paris to fine smokers for leaving butts on street

Wed Sep 30, 2015 1:35pm EDT
 
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PARIS (Reuters) - Paris is to fine smokers who throw their cigarette butts onto the street, the latest effort to clean up the French capital.

Each year 4,900 City of Paris employees collect 350 tonnes of cigarette butts on the city's 2,900 km of sidewalks and 1,600 km of roads, the City of Paris said in a statement.

It said the 68-euro fine would be imposed from Oct. 1

"Apart from being visual pollution, these butts are a significant environmental pollutant as they contain toxic products that go into the ground and water," the statement said.

The problem was made worse by the smoking ban in public places introduced in 2006 which forced French smokers out of cafes and bars and onto the street.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Janet Lawrence)