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Cigarette butts

Carelessly discarded cigarette butts are a frequent cause of fires.

Over seven billion cigarette butts are discarded across Australia every year.

Litter counts conducted by Keep Australia Beautiful show cigarette butts to be the most frequently recorded type of litter in Western Australia.

You can help reduce the likelihood of destructive bushfires by disposing of your cigarette butts responsibly and making sure others do the same.

Make sure your butt is fully extinguished before disposing of it and remember to never throw your cigarette butt from a moving car.

Careless disposal of a cigarette butt can also be very costly attracting a fine of up to $500 for an individual.

If you see someone carelessly dispose of a cigarette you can report the offence to Keep Australia Beautiful WA (KAB).

To become a registered Litter Reporter visit the Keep Australia Beautiful WA website at www.kabc.wa.gov.au and complete the online registration form. Once registered, access the reporting form to submit a litter report.

Take action

If you witness an offence take note of the following important information:

  • vehicle registration;
  • make and model of the vehicle;
  • a detailed description of the offender;
  • time and place that the offence was committed; and
  • a description of the litter that was dropped.

To report littering, you can log on to the Keep Australia Beautiful report card system at www.kabc.wa.gov.au or phone 1300 766 541.

The information you provide is verified by the Department of Transport and will normally result in the issue of an infringement notice to the offender. You may, on rare occasions, be required to attend a Magistrate’s court to provide evidence should the offence be disputed.

Penalties for careless cigarette disposal and littering have increased.

  • Cigarette butt littering fines have increased from $75 to $200 for individuals and $500 for corporations (businesses).
  • A new littering category called “Littering that creates a public risk’ attracts an infringement penalty of $500 for individuals and $2000 for corporations. This includes the littering of lit cigarettes.
  • During a Total Fire Ban - During a Total Fire Ban (TFB), any person who disposes of burning tobacco, or a burning cigarette, cigar or match in circumstances that is likely to set fire to the bush; including by throwing it from a vehicle, could face a fine of $25,000 and/or 12 months in jail.

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