Swiss canton introduces hefty 300-franc fine for littering

Anyone caught littering in the Swiss canton of Aargau will be hit with a fine of 300 francs (€265) in future after the cantonal parliament on Tuesday voted overwhelming in favour of the move.

Currently, most municipalities in the canton have fines of around 40–100 francs for littering.

But the cantonal parliament has decided to get tough. The new 300-franc penalty is the maximum permitted spot fine in Aargau.

Read also: Woman fined 190 Swiss francs for putting rubbish out on wrong day

During the vote on Tuesday, the cantonal environment minister, Stephan Attiger, conceded the fines would be hard to implement as it was tough to catch people in the act of littering. He said, however, that he hoped the 300-franc figure would act as a deterrent.

Most parties in Aargau backed the hefty fine. Only the centre-right Liberals (FDP) saw the majority of its parliamentarians rejecting the plan. One party member said the law was unnecessary and nothing more than a “paper tiger”.

The new fines in Aargau will come into force on October 1st.

Swiss cantons can currently set their own rules regarding littering on their streets. In 2016, the Swiss national parliament rejected a proposal to introduce nationwide fines.

Clean-up costs for littering in Switzerland come in at 200 million francs a year according to the Federal Office for the Environment.

Read also: Sneak preview – Switzerland’s new on-the-spot fines for 2020

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