Those who dump cigarette butts or other waste improperly when attending public events, such as festivals, concerts, or street rallies, could receive higher fines, according to a project currently under public debate at the Environment Ministry, Adevarul reported.
The fines could start at RON 500 (EUR 105) and reach up to RON 3,000 (EUR 632).
Some 3 million cigarette butts are dumped yearly in Romania, according to estimates quoted by Adevarul. They are very harmful as they are made of artificial cellulose acetate fibers and are not biodegradable. They can last in between 5 to 20 years in nature, and contaminate water and soil. Many end up in seas and oceans.
Worldwide, 767 kg or some 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are dumped every year, estimates show. Other waste people often dump improperly on the streets and in parks include chewing gum, napkins, bags, cigarette packaging, aluminum cans and plastic cups.
The same project aims to introduce selective waste collection at festivals and other public events starting 2020. As such, at public events there should be the needed infrastructure to allow separate waste collection into at least recyclable, non-recyclable, and bio-degradable waste.
The food and beverages sold or offered for free at these events should be come in reusable or biodegradable packaging, and participants should be provided information on the separate waste collection system they can use.
The project needs to be approved by the Government and the Parliament to go into force.