€200 Fine for Cigarette Butt Littering: Belgium Enters the Top Ten Countries Battling Tobacco Use

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Now Belgium has taken 10th place out of 36 European countries who fight tobacco use, which is 7 points up from the last time rating.

The Tobacco Control Scale (TCS) calculates its ratings every three years. The last rating was announced at the European Conference on Tobacco or Health in Berlin. In 2016, Belgium scored 17 and this year it is taken 10th place.

The Cleaning Service is picking up thousands of carelessly discarded cigarette butts every day. The Belgian capital increased its fines for throwing cigarette ends on the ground from €50 up to €200.



The government recognized the environmental hazard cigarette butts make, as it takes 10 to 15 years for one cigarette end to breakdown. Even more damage is made when this waste enters the sea, where one cigarette butt can pollute up to 500 liters of water.

Belgium authorities introduce neutral packaging and raised taxes on tobacco. The country is encouraged to raise prices on tobacco as well, as every increase of 10% in price brings a fall in consumption of 4%.

Leo Not Happy, engaged citizens who are raising awareness about the garbage problem in Brussels, organized garbage collection in order to attract the attention of the public to the problem of environmental pollution. Thousands of cigarette butts were collected and displayed.

30% of all street garbage in Brussels is cigarette waste. In the future, the Belgium government plans to invest in the recycling of cigarette ends.

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