How Much is the Fine for Throwing Garbage in Various Countries?

How Much is the Fine for Throwing Garbage in Various Countries

Foreign tourists returning from the USA and Europe often bring from there not only souvenirs but also stories about clean streets. What is the secret, do some peoples have a national mentality that forbids littering? We assure you that this is not the case. The thing is that in many countries, the fines for such violations are so huge that the unabiding ones run the risk of going bankrupt. And before reaching such a “clean” state, the countries went through decades of fighting garbage, and most often it is far from over.


The fine depends on the state + up to 1 month in prison.

Different states of the state have developed different penalties for illegal waste disposal. In general, if someone decides to throw waste in the wrong place or throw a cigarette butt on the sidewalk, they face a fine (maybe $500 or more) and up to a month in prison. They also like to assign community work to cl up the garbage. The most severe punishment for cigarette butts is provided in those states where the situation with fires is most tense. In Florida, for example, if you throw a cigarette butt or other rubbish out of the car window four times a year, you will be awarded the amount of penalty points (this is how traffic offenders are punished in the United States), sufficient to remain without a driver’s license for a month. In California, one cigarette butt will cost you $1,000.

In Texas, for trash less than or equal to five pounds or five gallons, fines can be up to $500. People even admit they had to borrow money to pay expensive fines. One of the most popular ways to get money in an emergency situation is loans in Texas. This is the fastest way to borrow $100-$1,000 instantly. To get accepted for such a loan, you only need to be a Texas resident, have a personal bank account, and some kind of identity verification. The process can be finalized within 10 minutes, there is no need to go anywhere. Short-term loans are unsecured, which means they can be used for whatever needs, including paying fines for throwing garbage.

At the same time, in “one-story America” ​​in your backyard, you can make any mess you want (this is your private property!)

In fact, in most of the United States, there is no separate waste collection: all a citizen is required to do is separate food waste from other types of waste. Sorting is done by specialized companies. For organics, they put special grinders in the sink or composters: in the first case, the crushed food waste “in mashed potatoes” is discharged into the sewer, in the second it turns into compost, which can be poured into your own garden as fertilizer. Therefore, the average American does not know what recyclable materials are, how to divide them into fractions: they threw the garbage into a container, and that’s good.


AUSTRIA. Penalty: up to 90-100 €

An Austrian is unlikely to leave an empty soda can on the street and throw a cigarette butt under his feet. Austrians are not rich enough to pay heavy fines (as, in fact, most Europeans think). You will have to pay almost a hundred euros even for a tiny candy wrapper. The same goes for pet owners. If your pet “litters” on the lawn, please, clean up after them immediately and throw them into a special machine for collecting excrement.

A special city service keeps order. Its employees have the right to make a remark and write out a fine. Foreign tourists, by the way, are also fined.

GREAT BRITAIN. Penalty: £ 80 or more

In London and some other UK cities, if you just tossed the wrapper or your dog “littered” in a public place, the fine will be £ 80. And if you threw out a relatively large amount of garbage, that is, set up a landfill – fines start from £ 400 for an individual. Moreover, you need to pay within 14 days, otherwise you will also have huge penalties.

IRELAND. Fine: 5,000 € or 12 months in prison

In this country, they decided not to waste time on trifles, the measures to combat garbage in the wrong places are truly draconian. Citizens caught violating waste management rules face not only fines of € 5,000 or more, but possibly up to 12 months in prison. True, we are not talking about an abandoned candy wrapper, but about what we call “heaps of garbage” (for example, if an irresponsible citizen went with his family to a picnic, scattered the remnants of food and dishes and left without cleaning up after himself).

SWITZERLAND. Penalty: 300 Swiss francs and more

In Switzerland, waste is collected separately, and citizens must use special bags of different colors for the disposal of waste. If you dispose of garbage not in a special bag, but in any kind, pay 300 francs. You threw a cigarette butt on the ground in front of the policeman – you will receive a fine of the same 300 francs. And in cases of illegal disposal of especially large volumes of waste, the fines can reach 20,000 francs.

By the way, fines in Switzerland have been tightened since 2018. Earlier, the country’s authorities made statements that there was an unacceptable amount of garbage on the streets of Swiss cities, and that they estimate losses from violations of waste management rules at 200 million francs a year.

Since RNO bags are quite expensive in the country, the practical Swiss invented such a thing as garbage tourism. The mayor of the small French border community of Les Rousses, Bernard Mamet, publicly complained in 2018 for the first time about the massive Swiss “garbage tourism” thriving in the region. “They often come to our store on weekends to shop, and what happens? They bring garbage with them, immediately throw it away completely free of charge, and take everything clean home. ” According to Le Parisien, customs officers in the French region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comte detain about 10 tons of garbage from Switzerland at the border every year. About 120-150 Swiss citizens a year are caught throwing away the garbage they brought with them from home in the border territories of France. And in fact, there are obviously an order of magnitude more such “trash tourists” – after all, customs control between the two EU countries is very relative.

GERMANY. Fine up to € 300

There is no single system of penalties for mismanagement of waste in the country – each of the 16 federal states has its own rules. Nevertheless, since 2015, there is a unified waste management system throughout the country, this is a 4-container RNO. If the waste is poorly sorted by one of the tenants, the penalty is not provided. But a company that serves the yard can easily raise tariffs for everyone, explaining that it incurs additional costs. Therefore, residents try not to cheat.

Bulky waste, such as furniture or household appliances, can be left in the yard only on certain days, when a special van can pick it up from there. You cannot throw away such garbage on your own – for this you can be fined in the amount of € 50 to € 300, depending on the size of the item.

If you litter in the wrong places, you will be fined by the local police. The sizes of punishments are not the highest in Europe, but rather significant. For example, in Westphalia, the most populated federal state, an abandoned cigarette butt or plastic cup will cost € 10-25.

FRANCE. Penalty € 35 – € 70

Separate waste collection has existed in the country for a long time. Three-container system: separately glass, separately other recyclable materials, and separately non-recyclable waste. In some places, there may be more containers (there may be separate containers for plastic products, cardboard and wood), but this is not throughout the country.

In Paris, a system of “electronic assistants” is installed here and there, this is a special scanner, which, after scanning the package, prompts in which container it should be dropped.

For non-standard items, for example, bulky waste (furniture, household appliances), there are special points where they need to be taken out on their own – about 4.5 thousand across the country. In some cities, you can contact the municipal services that will help with transport. Throwing such waste in the wrong places is punishable by a fine.

The fine for individuals is around € 35. Trash left on the road will cost about € 70, and the amount varies from city to city. And those who, for example, decide to throw an old sofa somewhere in the field, will have to pay a fine of € 150. If you did this in your car, it may also be taken to the impound.