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Tourists beware: Portugal declares war on cigarette butts

Tourists beware: Portugal declares war on cigarette butts

Portugal introduced a strict law aiming at combating smokers who throw the cigarette butts on the ground in public.

The new law that approves measures for the collection and treatment of the tobacco waste enters into force on Wednesday. Whoever throws on the floor will be punished with fines between 25 and 250 euros (27.6 U.S. dollars to 276 U.S. dollars).

As of Wednesday, cigarette butts, cigars or other cigarette containing tobacco products will be treated as urban solid waste and therefore their “disposal in public space” is prohibited.

Although the law comes into force on Wednesday, it provides for a “transitional period of one year” to adapt to it, which means that only in September 2020 there will be effective fines.

The new law stipulates that “commercial establishments, namely restaurants and establishments where recreational activities take place and all buildings where smoking is prohibited must have ashtrays and equipment for the disposal of undifferentiated and selective waste produced by its costumers”.

The government shall now establish an incentive system within the Environmental Fund and promote consumer awareness campaigns on the responsible destination of tobacco waste, including cigarettes, cigars or other cigarettes.

Regarding the tobacco producing companies, the new law states that they should promote the use of biodegradable materials in the manufacture of tobacco filters.