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Littering in Switzerland to be punished with a 300-franc fine

Littering in Switzerland to be punished with a 300-franc fine

The Federal Office for the Environment in Switzerland wants to introduce new national measures to combat littering across the country. Though regional measures are already in place in many cantons, proposals under consideration by the government are seeking to find a country-wide solution to the issue. 

Littering in Switzerland could land you a 300 Swiss franc fine

Rubbish disposal currently costs the Swiss government around 200 million Swiss francs each year. Individual cities and cantons already have punishments for littering in place, but the fines are not especially high. 

In Canton Fribourg, for example, litterers are fined 50 Swiss francs by the police for each offence, and in Canton Bern, a fine of 80 Swiss francs is issued. The government is proposing a new nationwide fine of 300 Swiss francs, much higher than any other penalty, to help keep the country clean. 

Not all Swiss politicians agree with the littering fine

Swiss National Councillor for FDP.The Liberals, Matthias Jauslin, worked on the proposals for the littering law and says that the proposed fines should serve as a deterrent: “On a Monday morning at a train station in Switzerland, the amount of litter is catastrophic. Surely it isn't fair that the whole population has to pay for the environmental sins that are committed by a careless few?"

However, not all politicians feel that the fine would be productive. Mike Egger from the Swiss People's Party thinks that educating people on the implications of their behaviour and the costs that littering creates for society would be more effective. Egger said, “We have to show people in an understandable way why littering can lead to real problems and what effects it can also have on the animal world."

Emily Proctor

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Emily Proctor

Emily studied International Relations and Chinese, and is now undertaking Master's degree in International Security. She enjoys writing, cooking, and playing piano.

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