News release from 02/03/2022

Fine for driver who dropped cigarette butt

Cigarette butts on the ground

A taxi driver who was spotted throwing a cigarette butt on the ground has been fined £150 – leading to South Cambridgeshire District Council again pleading with people not to litter.

On February 2, 2022, a council officer witnessed a private hire driver discarding a cigarette butt he had been smoking onto the ground at Whittlesford Service station before getting back into his licensed vehicle. The offender was given the opportunity to pay a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) rather than attend court for the offence.

Littering is an offence under section 87 Environmental protection Act 1990, and if convicted in a magistrate’s court carries a fine up to £2,500. Latest studies and evidence from UK Government show that smoking related litter costs UK local authorities approximately £40 million per year to deal with.  

Although the number of smokers is falling, cigarette litter remains a problem. According to Public Health England, cigarette litter is present on 73% of England’s streets. Cigarette butts can contain harmful chemicals including formaldehyde, nicotine, arsenic, lead, copper, chromium, cadmium, and a variety of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and can take up to 12 years to biodegrade.

Cllr Brian Milnes

Lead Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Licensing, Cllr Brian Milnes said: “Littering is a blight up and down the country. We know how much it annoys our communities. Littering is anti-social behaviour and one person’s thoughtlessness creates an unpleasant environment for everyone. It’s very simple: please, either put your litter in a public bin or take it home to recycle or throw out. We will investigate such incidents and continue to issue offenders with £150 fines in an attempt to quell the issue.”

“Anyone wishing to report someone for littering or fly-tipping can do so on our website. There is also a host of useful information on the website on how to deal with rubbish responsibly.”