A burning cigarette butt dropped beside a road at Scoresby has cost a Wantirna man $1,000 after Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) took him to court for littering.
EPA points out that a burning cigarette butt is not just litter, it creates a fire hazard. The Ringwood Magistrates’ Court fined the man $500 and ordered him to pay another $500 to cover EPA’s legal costs.
Accused man Bryce Davey failed to appear in court, on a charge of depositing litter, contrary to Section 45E(1)(a) of the Environment Protection Act 1970.
The court heard that the offence took place on Wednesday, 15 January 2020, at approximately 4:15 pm on Eastlink, at Scoresby. EPA charged the man after a member of the public reported the littering, using the EPA Report Litter app on a smart phone.
EPA receives about 20,000 reports of littering each year and works closely with government, industry and the community to use intelligence and surveillance to target offenders.
EPA’s Director, Regulatory Programs, Dan Hunt, says members of the community who report litter are helping to show offenders that littering is not ok.
“Littering is socially unacceptable, it can create a fire hazard and as a growing number of offenders have discovered, it can cost you a lot more than the little bit of effort it takes to do the right thing,” Mr Hunt said.
“Put the cigarette out, and put it in a bin or take it with you.”
Discarded cigarette butts pollute Victoria’s roadsides, many find their way into nearby waterways, and any burning cigarette butt creates a fire hazard.
The man’s failure to appear in court meant the witness who reported the littering did not have to provide evidence in court, but in reporting the offence, the witness volunteered to do so if it was required.
There’s information on the EPA Report Litter app and links to download sites on the EPA website, here: epa.vic.gov.au/report-pollution/litter-from-vehicles/report-littering
EPA issued more than 13,000 infringement notices for littering, last financial year.