PARIS mayor Bertrand Delanoë has had enough of smokers turning the streets of the capital into a giant ashtray - and wants to fine litter-louts double the present €35 penalty.
He has asked the interior minister to toughen the present regulations and increase the fine to €68. And, to make sure smokers have no excuse for just dumping their mégots on the ground he is going to fit 10,000 new bins.
City officials estimate that there are 30 billion cigarette ends dumped on pavements across France each year.
Anti-smoking group Les Amis du Vent said that while it takes five minutes to smoke a cigarette it takes 12 years for the fag-end to decompose - but the filter is toxic and non-bio-degradable.
The group, which has been backed by Paris deputy mayor Anne Hidalgo, said that cigarette ends were found everywhere: beaches, the countryside and clogging sewage treatment plants. Ms Hidalgo added that the extra costs of cleaning the streets were a waste of the city's budget.
Another supporter, WWF chairman Serge Orru said that the Paris move could be an example to the world; where 4.3 trillion cigarette ends were dumped on streets each year.
Photo: Aleksander - Fotolia.com