• May 27, 2024

Seoul Mulls Higher Fines for Cigarette Litter

 Seoul Mulls Higher Fines for Cigarette Litter
Photo: sayan

The Seoul metropolitan government is considering raising fines for cigarette butt litter from KRW50,000 ($38) to as much as KRW200,000, according to Korea JoonAng Daily.

Currently, the city government fines KRW50,000 regardless of the number of littering violations. The proposed new fine would increase based on number of violations: KRW100,000 for a first violation, KRW150,000 for a second violation and KRW200,000 for a third violation. 

Cigarette filters have been noted as one of the major causes of flooding in the area as the litter blocks the road drainage systems. The flood level doubles if two-thirds of the height of the drainage gets flooded, according to the National Disaster Management Research Institute. If the drainage is completely submerged, the flood level rises six-fold and flooding occurs three times more quickly.

“Drainages at high-risk areas, including those that have been flooded during the monsoon season, should be prioritized in being taken care of,” said Lee Young-joo, professor of fire prevention science at the University of Seoul. “Measures to offer incentives to those who voluntarily clean up road drainages should also be drawn up.”

Increased fines are also expected to help prevent fires due to smoking. Last year, 6,289 fires in the city were due to smoking, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Fire and Disaster Headquarters.

The city government will propose the fine increase to the Environment Ministry.