Paris to crack down on cigarette butts on the street

Since smoking ban in cafes and bars was introduced in Paris five years ago, smokers began more and more throw the cigarette butts on the ground, said city officials.

Bertrand Delanoë, the eco-friendly mayor, has said that approximately thousands of new public ashtrays will be established in the city. He asked as well to augment fines for throwing cigarette trash on the ground.

Eiffel Tower

The well-known Eiffel Tower in Paris

In addition, a campaign focused on stopping the polluting habit was launched on October 24 with the slogan: “Don’t throw out your cigarette butt, become a hero.”

The number of cigarette butts thrown on the streets began to increase since smokers have been pushed outside, said Francois Dagnaud, the deputy mayor of Paris in charge of cleanliness.

He added that cigarette butts are thrown everywhere – at the entrance to metros, at the entrances to cafés and restaurants, the pavements are carpeted with cigarette butts.

Bertrand Delanoë says that it will be established 10,000 public ashtrays on a third of street bins in Paris, and has asked the government to add to 68 euros (£42) a currently fine, which is not enforced yet, for throwing cigarette butts on the streets.

The current fine amounts 35 euros and it applies to other forms of polluting.

Mr Dagnaud said that he knows a lot of smoker that used to throw their butts on the ground, but it should be reminded that pavements are not ashtrays and cigarette butts are toxic. He added that their aim is to encourage smokers to change their behavior and to observe the rules.

Serge Orru, the former director of the French WWD environment conservation organization, said that Paris could become an example for the rest of the world if smoking people observed smoking bans.

Last week Mr Delanoë said about a plan for a major anti-pollution system, which includes the goal to reduce the number of high-polluting cars in Paris, and to oblige vehicles to pay upon entering the city. Such a scheme is applied to London’s congestion charge. Payments would depend on the distance travelled. The draft proposal will be reviewed on November 12.

According to Mr Delanoe, the project includes the goals to stop the highest-polluting and older model vehicles from entering the Paris. Exemptions may be made for low-income or “vulnerable” individuals.

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