Tougher penalties for littering come into force

From today tougher penalties for littering come into force in Georgia. Photo by Sophie Datuashvili., 15 Jan 2015 - 11:45, Tbilisi,Georgia

People who throw litter from cars and other vehicles face fines of up to 120 GEL ($63 USD) under a new law aimed at curbing roadside rubbish.

The Georgian Government is taking a tougher stance on environmental pollution and those who intentionally drop rubbish or litter in Georgia can now be slapped with a fine.

A new law, named Waste Management Code, came into force on January 15, Georgia’s Interior Ministry announced.

The law will regulate household, municipal, constructing and other types of waste transportation and storage.

According to the draft law, penalties for littering will start from 50 GEL ($27 USD), while the maximum fine will extend up to 5,000 GEL ($2,632 USD).

The new law stated owners of various transport operators and their passengers could face a 120 GEL fine ($63 USD) if they were caught throwing rubbish out of a vehicle window.

People can be fined for throwing all types of rubbish out vehicle windows, including cigarette butts, food and any other types of remains.

In the case of private transport, the transport owner will be fined for dropping litter from his personal vehicle. When it comes to public transport, a passenger who violates the law will have to take responsibility for their actions.

Meanwhile on September 5 Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili ordered the Environment Ministry to step up its efforts towards pollution control after stating Georgia’s environmental pollution levels were high.

The country has a major problem with waste removal and recycling and people should be punished for polluting the environment, Garibashvili said after today's Governmental meeting.

"I would like once again give details to our citizens that ... this kind of decision was necessary [so the population can] establish environmental protection habits once and forever. We are always proud to have a beautiful country but at the same time, people shamelessly throw rubbish and this is often done directly from cars,” Garibashvili said.

"There should be strict administrative penalties and fines related to littering and anyone who behaves irresponsibly will face the maximum penalty,” the PM said.

Patrol police, together with local municipalities and appropriate divisions within the Ministry of Environment, will be responsible for enforcing the new law.